Amazon Celebrates One Year In St. Cloud – KNSI

(KNSI) – The St. Cloud Amazon Delivery Station is one year old and significant growth at the site continues.
It opened with 36 employees last November and was able to ship around 4,000 packages per day. Now the loading point has 180 employees on staff as it readies for the busy holiday season. It will likely set records soon with over 15,000 packages expected on some days.
Site Lead Nick Lahti says the progress has gone as expected but there are some challenges to operating a location that serves rural areas.
“We have some kind of back end algorithmic things that we see snow coming up and we’ll reduce drive times and plug it into our planning systems differently so that drivers have more time than they would if it’s just kind of standard good weather. [It] keeps them safer and ensures more of the packages are getting exactly there when we promised.”
To deliver packages, Amazon contracts with two firms and also utilizes around 40 Amazon Flex independent contractors. Lahti says Flex drivers are like Uber but for package delivery.
St. Cloud is known as a last mile service center. Individual packages are ready for final delivery when they come in overnight on semi trucks. Employees then sort them into routes for the drivers based on geography. The contracted firms will make runs designed to be completed in 10 hours. Amazon Flex employees can choose between 2.5 and four-hour routes. They typically drop off around 35 packages per shift.
Employees at the delivery station on the city’s east side celebrated the location’s one-year anniversary with a feast catered by the Hormud Market. Lahti says being respectful of everyone and allowing them to thrive will continue to be a focus in Year Two.
“My biggest thing is we have some associates who are now in management roles and I’d love to see them continue progressing along. That’s always one of my top goals.”
Amazon has made $12,000 in donations to area groups like Anna Marie’s Alliance and the Tri-County Humane Society. Lahti says as a veteran he is part of the Warriors group within the company, which has allowed him to participate in various events while representing Amazon.
Also touring the site on Wednesday were newly elected representative Bernie Perryman and senator Aric Putnam. The two say they plan to coordinate similar informational sessions with area businesses and groups in the future.
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