Unlike Amazon’s large, multistory success facilities the place it shops stock and packs objects into particular person packages, the supply stations make use of fewer folks. Amazon staff kind packages for every supply route in a single space. Then, drivers working for contractors deliver vans into one other space, the place the packages are rolled over in carts, loaded into the vans and pushed out.
Amazon had about 70 supply stations within the United States in 2017 and now has almost 600, with extra deliberate, in line with trade marketing consultant MWPVL International. Globally, the corporate delivers greater than half of its personal packages, and as a lot a three-quarters of its packages within the United States.
Most drivers work for different corporations beneath a program referred to as Delivery Service Partners. Amazon has mentioned the contracting association helps help small companies that may rent of their communities. But trade consultants and Amazon staff straight concerned in this system have mentioned it lets the corporate avoid liability for accidents and different dangers, and limits labor organizing in a closely unionized trade.
Sucharita Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research, mentioned that whereas vacation season is crucial for all retailers, it’s notably intense for Amazon. “They promise these delivery dates, so they are likely to experience the most last-minute purchases,” she mentioned.
The Edwardsville supply station, which Amazon calls DLI4, opened final 12 months and had room for 60 vans directly, in line with planning paperwork.
On Friday, a twister warning was in impact for Edwardsville as of 8:06 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. At 8:27 p.m., the county emergency administration company reported a partial roof collapse at Amazon’s supply depot and that folks had been trapped inside.
Aerial footage of the wreckage confirmed dozens of vans, lots of which had Amazon’s emblem, beneath the rubble. Some of the vans had been U-Hauls, which the contractors generally hire to serve demand throughout busy intervals.