Friday, December 12, 2014

Amazon takes control of shipping through sorting centers is trying to avoid shipping delays by taking more control of its delivery system — opening "sorting centers" around the U.S.

Sorting center facilities take orders that have already been packed and labeled elsewhere. The boxes are then sent to the site to be organized by zip code and stacked six-foot-high on pallets, before getting trucked to nearby post offices for the final leg of deliveries.

Amazon will be operating 15 sorting centers by Christmas, up from eight last year. Using sorting centers is one of the biggest changes to the company's delivery system since last year when bad weather and a deluge of last-minute orders prevented some from receiving gifts in time for the holidays.

The new facilities will help Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos take charge of work previously performed by UPS and FedEx, giving him greater flexibility over precisely how packages are delivered and more control over costs as he seeks to recoup losses from heavy spending.

"If there's one company that understands fulfillment, it's Amazon," said Kevon Hills, director of research at StellaService, which monitors customer service of e-commerce companies. "They probably learned a lot last year. Rather than be more conservative, they will try to solve the problem."

For more of the Bloomberg story:

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