Amazon Shows Off Fulfillment Center in West Columbia, SC

4:19 PM, Jul 17, 2012   |    comments
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West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - If you drove by the Amazon facility in West Columbia, it wouldn't take your breath away. But inside the building, it's full of moving parts shipping items from the Midlands to around the world. 

Tuesday, the plant had its ribbon-cutting, and officials let News19 inside see its operation for the first time to see its operations up close.

The facility is so big it could fit every football field in the SEC and still have room for the Gamecock's baseball stadium inside.

"There were so many people in the community who helped us out and now to finally open it up," said John Petta, the General Manager of Amazon's West Columbia Fulfillment Center.

Millions of products come into the center, are sorted by a team of employees and conveyors, then scanned to make sure the orders are correct. They're then shipped out to destinations around the world.

"This is going to be good for the Midlands and just the groundswell from that - that's what really did it for us," said Petta.

Amazon says the plant is busiest in the afternoons. The number of boxes traveling on miles of conveyor belts is a good indicator.

"I think we built momentum because of this project and also it made it clear to me how important it was to bring all of these teams together," said South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt.

That momentum also shows up in jobs. At the plant, they have already hired a thousand people to help with those orders. They'll hire more this week and even more as the holiday season approaches. MORE: Amazon is hiring for West Columbia facility

"We quite frankly were blown away by your [the community's] passion and hard work to form a partnership with Amazon. and now that we call this area home, I can tell you what we heard about this area, it's beauty workforce and kindness, are all true," said Mike Roth, the Vice President of North American Operations.


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