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Your next order from Amazon might be shipped out of its Fresno warehouse

An Amazon warehouse worker picks merchandise from a bin as she assembles a customer order for eventual shipping in this image from a company video inside one of its online-order fulfillment centers. Amazon opened its 855-000-square-foot e-commerce order-filling center in June with plans to hire about 1,500 employees.
An Amazon warehouse worker picks merchandise from a bin as she assembles a customer order for eventual shipping in this image from a company video inside one of its online-order fulfillment centers. Amazon opened its 855-000-square-foot e-commerce order-filling center in June with plans to hire about 1,500 employees.

Amazon's brand-spanking-new fulfillment center at the south end of Fresno could be ready to begin training its workforce and shipping products to customers within weeks, according to the developer for the 72-acre site.

Jason Quintel, western region senior vice president for Seefried Industrial Properties, told a group of real estate professionals on Friday that he expects the city to provide a certificate of occupancy for the warehouse by the end of next week. After that, Amazon can begin moving its employees into the building for training and getting ready to begin its order-filling operations.

Quintel was joined by Jim Terry, a principal with the architectural firm of Ware Malcomb that designed the building, and Ethan Smith, senior vice president of Newmark Grubb Pearson Commercial real estate, in an industrial real estate symposium at Fresno State's Craig School of Business.

Amazon last weekend posted job openings for hourly warehouse associates, who will make up the bulk of the 1,500 people who will pick, sort, pack and ship products that the company's online customers have ordered.

Amazon has kept its plans close to the vest, saying only that it is targeting June or July for the opening of the fulfillment center. But Quintel — whose company has worked with Amazon on multiple warehouse projects — said that if Amazon stays on schedule, it could begin loading the building with merchandise within about three weeks, and start shipping orders to customers in about four weeks. "The caveat is if Amazon doesn't get off its schedule," Quintel said.

Inside the 855,000-square-foot building near Central and Orange avenues, Quintel said, are three floors of mezzanines amounting to about 1.5 million square feet where merchandise will be stored before it is picked and packed for shipping. Robots will be used to move pods of merchandise in bins to points where people will begin assembling customers' orders. "At any one level there's probably 2,000 'bots and somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 (merchandise) pods," he said.

Most of shipping preparation will take place on the ground floor of the building, which is laced with about five miles of automated conveyer belts to route products to each stage of the process before orders are packed and loaded onto trucks for shipment. The site has parking for more than 350 semi-trailers and about 2,600 spaces for employee parking.

Tim Sheehan: 559-441-6319; Twitter: @TimSheehanNews.

To apply for Amazon jobs

Amazon is taking applications for full-time hourly warehouse associates for its Fresno fulfillment center online at www.amazon.com/fresnojobs.

Information on other professional positions with Amazon in Fresno is online at www.amazon.jobs and type "Fresno" in the location search field.

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