Amazon opens last-mile delivery center in Baltimore, seeks 5000 workers in region – Amazon News

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Amazon has opened two new last-mile delivery centers in the Baltimore area, including its first in the city, and is ramping up hiring for thousands of open jobs across the region and state.

The online retail giant is growing rapidly across Maryland, where officials say they need to fill more than 6,000 full-time and part-time openings for packers, sorters and delivery drivers to work at fulfillment and sorting centers, grocery fulfillment centers as well as at a growing number of last-mile delivery stations. Most of the jobs — more than 5,000 — are located in Baltimore and the surrounding counties, Amazon officials said Tuesday.

The newest of the so-called “last-mile” stations opened last month in Hanover and in Baltimore City on Van Deman Street near the Port of Baltimore.

Amazon now operates 15 such stations in Maryland, including eight in the Baltimore region, with two in Hanover, two in Edgewood and sites in Essex, Glen Burnie, Halethorpe and now Baltimore.

Officials offered a glimpse Tuesday of the city facility, which opened in August and employs about 100 people.

Amazon drivers load vans at the new last-mile delivery station on Van Deman Street in Baltimore to start daily routes to city customers.

Amazon drivers load vans at the new last-mile delivery station on Van Deman Street in Baltimore to start daily routes to city customers. (Lorraine Mirabella / Baltimore Sun)

Each day, thousands of packages arrive from fulfillment and sorting centers for workers to unload, sort and place into bins during overnight-to-late morning shifts. The bins are loaded onto rolling carts to be handed off to drivers and loaded into dozens of vans that line up each morning to make deliveries on eight- to 10-hour routes to homes and businesses in Baltimore and Dundalk.

“We’re opening more delivery stations because we find that to keep up with customer orders, we’re going to need more people to deliver those packages to customers’ homes,” said Monica Lang, engagement specialist for hiring for Baltimore North, a region that stretches from Hagerstown to Prince George’s County.

To keep up with demand, she said, “we are building more locations in the Baltimore area to service the Baltimore community.”

Amazon operates several warehouses and logistics centers in the region, including an 855,000-square-foot robotic fulfillment center at Tradepoint Atlantic, the logistics hub on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel mill in Sparrows Point. It opened a second, 1 million-square-foot distribution center at Tradepoint last year to pack and ship large consumer items.

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At a time when many retail and service-oriented employers are scrambling to find workers, Amazon hopes to entice applicants with incentives such as paid college tuition and management track opportunities. Amazon says its operations workers earn on average more than $18 per hour.

Last week, the online retailer announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to fund full college tuition, as well as high school general equivalency diplomas and English as a Second Language proficiency certifications for front-line employees — including those who have been at the company for just three months. The company also added three new education programs offering skills in data center maintenance and technology, IT, and customer experience and research design.

Cory Boatman, station operations manager for the Baltimore delivery station, said he was able to move into a managerial role less than three years after being hired at Amazon in an entry-level logistics job.

Boatman watched Tuesday as dozens of Amazon vans lined up two lanes deep at the station to have packages handed over to drivers on their way to daily routes.

“As more people continue to order online, there is a need for us to service the community in faster ways,” Boatman said. “We need to ensure we have the capacity to be able to process those packages and get them to you as quickly as we can.”

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