WBOC Gets Rare Access to Amazon's Delaware Fulfillment Center on - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

WBOC Gets Rare Access to Amazon's Delaware Fulfillment Center on Cyber Monday

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (WBOC) - Have you ever wondered what happens after you click the final checkout button on Amazon.com?

Cyber Monday is the busiest day of the year for the website. Last year customers worldwide ordered 37 million items in one day. That's 426 items per second.

All those purchases have a direct impact on Delaware. That's because Amazon opened a fulfillment center - a facility where the company fulfills orders - in Delaware in 2012.

Monday WBOC got rare access to that facility in Middletown.

It is one of more than 50 Amazon fulfillment centers nationwide handling those tens of millions of orders.

It is the size of 28 football fields. It has 8 miles of conveyor belts. And more than 2,000 people work there full time.

Order volume goes way up during the holiday season. Just ask Ben Fitzpatrick. He has worked at the center about four months.

"Around this weekend specifically I noticed more business coming through, for sure," he said.

You probably don't think about it. But every time you put your mouse over that final checkout button and double click, it sets off a chain reaction in a massive facility, like the one in Middletown.

Everyone at the fulfillment center has a role to play in that reaction. Fitzpatrick is what's called a picker.

"That basically means when people order things online, I go and retrieve them in our warehouse area, make sure they're good quality items, stick them in a tote, place them on a conveyor. They go to our pack department and get out to our customers," he explained.

There are more people involved in the fulfillment process now than at any other time of year to deal with all the extra volume.

"Over our fulfillment network of more than 50 centers, we hired 80,000 temporary workers, seasonal employees," Kiesha Cochrane, an Amazon spokeswoman, said.

Cochrane says some portion of those people will stay on after the holidays to continue helping with the process behind the mouse click. It is a process even the facility's employees can't imagine until they see it for themselves.

"I definitely didn't when I came here," Fitzpatrick said. "No. It would be a tough thing to fathom."

Amazon expects this to be its largest Cyber Monday ever and biggest holiday season ever. The company anticipates seven to 18 percent growth between the final quarter of last year and this year.

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