Amazon to build massive Little Rock fulfillment center

Retail logistics service provider Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) said it has secured permission to begin construction on a new fulfillment center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The 825,000-square-foot facility, which will be built on an 80-acre site along Zeuber Road, is expected to open in 2021. Amazon said the site will employ more than 1,000 people.

The Little Rock Port Authority board approved the sale of the land to Amazon for the fulfillment center on April 7. The purchase also gave Amazon exclusive control over the site’s development.

Neither Amazon nor the Little Rock Port Authority revealed the purchase price of the land or the anticipated construction costs for the new facility. 

Amazon is already constructing a delivery station in the state to handle packages for customer deliveries.

“We greatly appreciate the strong support from local and state leaders as we look to open our first fulfillment center and second delivery station in the state of Arkansas,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment, in a July 7 statement.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office also praised the deal. “Arkansas has a trained workforce and is centrally located with easy access to miles of interstate, rail and navigable waterways,” he said.

Along with the employees, Amazon said a robotic system will be used to pick, pack and ship small items to customers, such as books, electronics and toys.

By the end of this year, Amazon will open an 85,000-square foot delivery station in Little Rock.

Amazon delivery stations are designed to manage the last mile of the company’s order fulfillment process. Packages are transported to delivery stations from Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers, and then loaded into vehicles for delivery to customers.

Amazon expects the delivery station to “create hundreds of permanent, full-time and part-time jobs, in addition to offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to build their own small businesses delivering Amazon packages, and independent contractors the flexibility to be their own boss and create their own schedule delivering for Amazon Flex.”

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.