US-tech giant Amazon is building its first Australian robotic warehouse in Western Sydney to help streamline local parcel deliveries.
The robotics fulfilment centre, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year, will more than double the company’s operational footprint in Australia.
The warehouse, to be located on Goodman’s Oakdale West Industrial Estate in Western Sydney, will occupy around 200,000 sqm of floor space and will use more steel than Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
“This investment will also benefit the 10,000 plus small and medium-sized businesses which utilise 'Fulfilment By Amazon' to seamlessly service customers across the country,” said
Amazon Australia’s director of operations, Craig Fuller.
It is Amazon’s fifth fulfilment centre in Australia, but the first to be fitted out with Amazon’s suite of robotic helpers.
The company says the Western Sydney warehouse will create jobs for IT, HR and robotics professionals.
The robots will assist human workers locate packages for dispatch to help boost productivity and slash delivery times.
Major win for NSW
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the Amazon announcement was a win for the state.
“This new centre, once up and running, will create more than 1,500 jobs in addition to 700 construction jobs at a time when we need them most,” she said.
“Amazon’s decision to locate its first robotic centre in the Southern Hemisphere right here in Western Sydney is another great example about what the future holds.”
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says Amazon’s announcement is further evidence that the freight and logistics industry is clearly focused on moving beyond the COVID-19 crisis and committed to enhancing supply chain efficiency and customer experience through technology.
The centre’s advanced robotics would enable Amazon Australia to deliver a faster and more consistent experience for its customers, with the new facility able to house up to 11 million items.
Delivering greater reliability for customers
ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of efficient, safe and resilient supply chain operations in Australia, and clearly the industry is seeking to maximise the opportunities presented by robotics and automated technology to deliver greater reliability for its customers.”
“This will also require a very different skill set among the sector’s future workforce going forward, he said.
“People will need to be comfortable operating sophisticated IT systems and equipment, in vehicles and in distribution centres and terminals, as customers demand greater visibility over freight as it moves through the supply chain. The influence of automation will also be felt, and those skilled in the operation and maintenance of robotics will be highly sought.”