Amazon announcement highlights industry focus on post-COVID future

BY Australian Retailers Association
03 July 2020

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) associate Member Amazon Australia will establish its first Amazon Robotics fulfilment centre (FC) in Western Sydney. 

This fulfilment centre is further evidence that the freight and logistics industry is clearly focused on moving beyond the COVID-19 crisis and committed to enhancing supply chain efficiency and customer experience through technology.

It is anticipated that the new facility will create 1,500 jobs once completed in late 2021, with an additional 700 jobs expected to be created through its construction phase. The centre’s advanced robotics will enable Amazon Australia to deliver a faster and more consistent experience for its customers, with the new facility able to house up to 11 million items.

“This announcement is a further display of the confidence major freight and logistics companies have about the future, and the industry’s commitment to creating jobs for Australians during a very challenging economic period,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of efficient, safe and resilient supply chain operations in Australia, and clearly the industry is seeking to maximise the opportunities presented by robotics and automated technology to deliver greater reliability for its customers.”

“This will also require a very different skill set among the sector’s future workforce going forward. People will need to be comfortable operating sophisticated IT systems and equipment, in vehicles and in distribution centres and terminals, as customers demand greater visibility over freight as it moves through the supply chain. The influence of automation will also be felt, and those skilled in the operation and maintenance of robotics will be highly sought.”

“This underscores the recent observation from the head of the National Skills Commission, Adam Boyton, about the need for the freight and logistics sector to enhance its focus on digital skills.”

“The announcement also comes just a week after Qube Holdings and Woolworths Group announced they were investing in two new state-of-the-art distribution centres in Western Sydney, and is clear confirmation that this vital economic region will be home of some of the nation’s most technologically advanced logistics facilities in the near future.”

“ALC looks forward to further highlighting these developments in Western Sydney as well as the vital role our industry will play in supporting Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery during ALC Forum 2020, which will be held in Western Sydney in late October.”

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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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