Tuesday September 21, 2021

Amazon invests in new logistics sites across Germany

Amazon Germany logistics centre employee
Amazon Germany logistics centre employee

Amazon announced today that it will open eight new logistics locations in Germany by the first half of 2022 which will create over 3,000 additional operational jobs as it continues to invest in its fulfilment capabilities.

This year, the e-commerce giant plans to open three distribution centres for last-mile deliveries in Neu-Ulm (Bavaria), Wenden (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Friedrichsdorf (Hesse), respectively. Another distribution centre will be opened in Weiterstadt, close to Darmstadt, next year.

In addition, three logistics centres will be opened in Dummerstorf (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), Helmstedt (Lower Saxony) and Hof/Gattendorf (Bavaria), in the first half of 2022, respectively. Finally, Amazon plans a regional sorting centre in Erding (Bavaria), to be opened next year as well.

Axel Wiechmann, mayor of Dummerstorf, commented: "We are very pleased that Amazon is coming to Dummerstorf. It is a great benefit for the entire region, as 1,000 new jobs will be created in one fell swoop. This results in great career opportunities for the people in the region. It also benefits local retailers and citizens who sell via Amazon or order from Amazon.”

Recent investments in numerous logistics facilities

Today’s big announcement follows on from various logistics investments across Germany so far this year with a mix of openings and the start of construction work on new facilities.

Last month Amazon started operations at a new €130 million logistics centre in Gera (Thuringia), where a core team of 400 employees will be increased to at least 1,000 in the future.

In July, Amazon started the construction of a new distribution centre in Garching near Munich, with operations due to start in the first half of 2022. Around 90 jobs will be created in warehouse logistics, with hundreds more as contractor drivers are be added. The company plans to deploy electric delivery vehicles on site.

In June, the company started the construction of a new distribution centre in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, with 5,097 sqm of logistics space and 2,806 sqm of office and social space. Operations are due to start in spring 2022. The facility will be built by the logistics property developer Panattoni. Around 130 full- and part-time jobs will be created on site, with several hundred drivers to be added by Amazon's delivery partners.

Also in Lower Saxony, Amazon received a building permit for a new logistics centre in Stade, with 125 jobs to be created on site. In addition, 270 self-employed drivers will distribute goods.

Elsewhere, in Schkeuditz near Leipzig (Saxony), Amazon is building a distribution centre on an area of 9,500 sqm, to go into operation in autumn 2021. Around 120 jobs are due to be created and 150 drivers will be hired for parcel deliveries.

In May, the e-commerce retailer started building a new distribution centre in Dahlewitz, south of Berlin, according to ecological standards, in cooperation with the real estate developer Four Parx. The centre will comprise 15,300 sqm of hall and office space.

Amazon reportedly plans another distribution centre in Kassel (Hesse), scheduled to go into operation in summer 2022, with the aim to expand capacity on the last mile. Around 125 jobs are to be created, with several hundred jobs as delivery drivers to be added. The distribution centre will feature a green roof (approx. 11,300 sqm) and a photovoltaic system.

Another distribution centre in Giengen near Ulm (Baden-Württemberg) is expected to go into operation in 2022, with 100 jobs to be created.

In addition, Amazon plans a logistics centre in Allersberg, south of Nuremberg (Bavaria). However, the project has been criticised because of the expected traffic congestion, among others. According to a report by the administrative district, there could be up to 900% more heavy goods vehicle traffic which corresponds to around 1,450 trucks a day.

There are also plans for a new distribution centre in Oyten near Bremen, to go into operation this year. Despite concerns about possible traffic congestion, the municipality of Oyten probably has no say in the settlement, as the industrial area is privately owned.

Over 6,000 new jobs in two years

Thanks to these numerous logistics sites, Amazon keeps creating thousands of new jobs across Germany and claims to be offering good pay rates, despite frequent union criticism. In July, the company introduced a starting wage of €12 (pre-tax) per hour, which is now being paid to most of its employees – regardless whether they have a full-time, part-time, temporary or seasonal position.

Stefano Perego, Vice President Customer Fulfillment in Europe, said: "In the last 12 months alone, we have created more than 3,000 permanent logistics jobs in Germany. More than 3,000 will be added next year. These jobs support communities of all sizes, from larger cities like Hof/Gattendorf to smaller towns like Dummerstorf. As a company, we are constantly working to improve, we listen to our employees and strive to be the best employer in the world."

The number of permanent employees in Germany is expected to rise to over 28,000 across all divisions at around 60 locations throughout Germany by the end of the year. More than 19,000 permanent employees work in the Amazon logistics network in Germany alone, the e-retailer specified.

Problems at delivery contractors

However, last month, Amazon took to court a regional sub-contractor, the Bavarian delivery company Oberland Logistik, after the ZDF TV programme "Frontal" revealed the disastrous working conditions of the delivery staff. Drivers complained about high pressure with up to 270 parcels per day, although Amazon claimed this was just a single case. Trade unions, on the other hand, see co-operation with subcontractors as a fundamental problem.

Also in August, customs inspection in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, uncovered several violations by subcontractors whose employees work at an Amazon parcel distribution centre. In May, customs officers already uncovered the use of false identity papers at an Amazon location in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Speeding up Amazon Fresh deliveries

Meanwhile, on the commercial front, Amazon is speeding up grocery deliveries. Prime members in Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Potsdam can now benefit from faster deliveries to their doorstep getting their groceries in three hours as part of the Amazon Fresh service. Amazon ensures same-day deliveries for orders made by 7 p.m with delivery in two hours for an €80 minimum order value.

SourceAmazon Germany, German media, CEP-Research

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