AMAZON welcomed more than 70 children from local primary and secondary schools into its fulfilment centre in Tilbury and announced it will be opening its doors to members of the public for free guided tours next month.
The public tours will be of one of its UK fulfilment centre’s equipped with the latest advanced Amazon Robotics technology.
Amazon, which celebrates its 20th birthday in the UK this year, has a rich history of developing and introducing cutting-edge technology into fulfilment centres to assist employees in their roles and deliver for customers. The robots slide under a tower of shelves where products are stowed, lift it and move it through the fulfilment centre.
Pupils from local primary and secondary schools in Tilbury got a behind-the-scenes look at the fulfilment centre, the newest example of Amazon’s commitment to invention in logistics on behalf of employees and customers.
On the tour, they saw how Amazon stores, picks and packs products that are shipped from Tilbury to customers around the world. Tilbury fulfilment centre is the same size as 34 football pitches and holds millions of products from books and toys – to kettles, toasters and computers.
Robots help speed order processing time and reduce walking by employees by moving the shelves to employees, reducing the time taken to stow items for sale or pick them for new customer orders. They also save space, allowing for 50% more items to be stowed per square foot.
Tens of thousands of the products stored at Amazon in Tilbury belong to small businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace who use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) to fulfil orders to customers across Europe.
Skilled engineers and IT professionals support the technology in Tilbury and Ali Ataya, who studied electrical engineering, is one of them: “I have always been interested in robotics, but when I started at Amazon I had no idea that one day I could be working with this kind of technology,” he remembers. “We are not only working with the robots day to day, we are also looking at how we can make them better in the future.”
Robert Stobinski, at the Tilbury Fulfilment Centre, said: “We’re extremely proud of the efforts of everyone who works in our fulfilment centres and opening Tilbury up to these tours is the perfect way to recognise all of their achievements.”
He added: “We’re especially thrilled to share some of the exciting things we do here in Tilbury to deliver a high quality of service to our customers and look forward to welcoming people through our doors in the coming months – not least the mesmerizing robotics which move and lift products through the fulfilment centre.”
Tracey Wilson Assistant Head Teacher at The Gateway Primary Free School toured Amazon in Tilbury. She added: “We really enjoyed our tour and had a fascinating insight into how Amazon delivers customer orders from right here in Tilbury. From experiencing the sheer size of the building to understanding the technology that makes Amazon work, the staff and pupils from The Gateway Primary Free School found the trip both inspirational and educational.
“The kids were totally wowed by the robots moving the shelves around the floor to help the staff process orders – it really is amazing to watch.”
Jackie Doyle Price MP for Thurrock: “Having visited the fulfilment centre myself and witnessed the amazing robots, I welcome that Amazon is opening its doors to showcase the technology and explain what they do. Amazon is a major employer and an important part of our community.”
About Public Tours
The Tilbury fulfilment centre is the fifth site in the UK to offer public tours – and the second that is equipped with Amazon Robotics technology. Tilbury joins Amazon buildings in Manchester, where tours also launched this year, Hemel Hempstead, Dunfermline in Scotland, and Rugeley in Staffordshire where tours have been taking place since 2015. Since launch, more than 10,000 people have been on a public tour in the UK.
Members of the public can sign up at http://uk.amazonfctours.com/ for free tours of the Tilbury site, with the first taking place at the beginning of May.
The tours are open to anyone over the age of six years old. Each tour lasts about one hour and the maximum number of participants is 15 people.