Unlike Amazon’s huge, multi-storey fulfillment centers, where it stores inventory and packs items into separate packages, delivery stations employ fewer people. Amazon employees sort packages for each delivery route in an area. Then, drivers working for the contractors drive the van to another area, where packages are rolled into carts, loaded into the vans and taken out.
Amazon had about 70 delivery stations in the United States in 2017 and Now around 600. IsWith more planned, according to industry consultant MWPVL International. Globally, the company distributes more than half of its own packages, and three-quarters of its packages in the United States.
Most drivers work for other companies under a program called Delivery Service Partners. Amazon has said that the contract arrangement helps support small businesses who can afford to hire in their communities. But industry consultants and Amazon employees directly involved in the program have said it allows the company to Avoid liability for accidents and other risks, and limits the organization of labor in a heavily unionized industry.
Sucharita Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research, said the holiday season is important for all retailers, but it is particularly intense for Amazon. “They promise these delivery dates, so they are likely to have the most last-minute shopping experience possible,” she said.
The Edwardsville delivery station, which Amazon calls DLI 4, opened last year and has room for 60 vans at a time, according to plan documents.
On Friday, a tornado warning was in effect for Edwardsville as of 8:06 p.m. According to the National Weather Service, At 8:27 a.m., the county emergency management agency reported a partial collapse of the roof at Amazon’s delivery depot and people trapped inside.
Aerial footage of the wreck showed dozens of vans under the rubble, many of which had the Amazon logo. Some of the vans were U-Hauls, which contractors sometimes hire to meet demand during peak periods.