Amazon is currently working towards further automation, particularly when it comes to packaging.
The company is slowly rolling out robots to replace people working in their warehouses when it comes to the packaging end of the business.
Two of these new robots placed in a single warehouse could feasibly eliminate at least 24 jobs, according to experts familiar with this particular program. The main job that will soon see massive cuts is that of packaging and wrapping up customer orders, a role currently held by thousands of human employees.
Amazon has been introducing technology into their warehouses at greater speeds in recent years. Some of this technology which is already in use includes a machine that scans goods coming down a conveyor belt. The same machine then envelopes the goods inside appropriately sized boxes in a matter of seconds. Amazon is considering expanding the use of these machines to many more warehouses, thus removing 24 jobs at each location. Amazon warehouses range in the numbers of employees working there, but the typical warehouse employs approximately 2,000 workers.
The current plan at Amazon could amount to up to 1,300 layoffs at 55 fulfillment centers in the US. These updates will only be applied to fulfillment centers that deal with standard-sized inventory. Amazon can reasonably expect to recover the costs of these updates in a matter of a couple years.
Amazon has been trying to cut labor costs in order to boost profits for some time now. As far as things are going right now, many of the jobs at Amazon can be automated, with a few exceptions. As far as modern robotics go, a robot is still unable to perform the simple task of picking an item up. These kinds of changes always take some time for technological and regulatory purposes. Regardless, we can expect to see much more automation come out of Amazon during the years to come.