Amazon opens first robotics fulfillment centre in Calgary

Calgary celebrates the city’s first Amazon robotics fulfilment centre, which is expected to employ 1,500 workers. Margot Rubin reports.

Online retail giant Amazon opened its first robotics fulfillment centre in Calgary on Friday.

Premier Danielle Smith, one of her cabinet ministers, and Mayor Jyoti Gondek were in attendance for the grand opening of the new facility in the city’s southeast.

The 2.8 million square foot facility is Amazon’s largest in Canada.

Amazon’s 5th fulfillment centre in Alberta will feature “innovative new logistics technology” where retrieval of customers’ orders are done automatically with the use of robots. Despite this, the new facility is still expected to employ around 1,500 workers.

“(The employees) will pick, pack and eventually ship the products to the door of our delightful customers outside,” says Amazon’s Sushant Jha, the general manager of the new building.

The company said last fall it had plans to grow to employ 6,000 people across the country.

“With the opening of this facility and other ones in the plan, we are going to keep growing that number,” says Jha. “That’s the whole idea.”

Both Smith and Gondek called the opening a great economic opportunity for Calgary, with the mayor adding it cements the city’s status as a hub “for innovation and technology.”

Amazon runs more than 60 operations sites in Canada, which includes 21 fulfillment centres, over 30 delivery stations, and six sorting centres.

With files from Alejandro Melgar

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