Amazon is continuing its investment in Arizona by opening two sortation centers — including one in Glendale — to support customer fulfillment and delivery operations.
“It is the first facility that we’re opening in the city of Glendale,” said Lisa Guinn, Amazon Operations public relations.
“We do have other facilities in the West Valley. Glendale has been a wonderful partner so far.”
The Glendale sortation center will be at North Sarival Road and West Glendale Avenue. The other one is located in Tucson at South Alvernon Way and East Corona Road. Construction on both facilities began in early January.
“There are a variety of factors that we look at when we choose a new location,” Guinn said. “We looked things like growth in Arizona. It has an outstanding workforce. We’ve had strong support from our partners locally, and we have incredible customers.”
Each site will span more than 270,000 square feet and will help with critical package sortation needs, enabling the fast, free shipping.
“Every day at Amazon, incredible employees come together to deliver magical experiences for customers,” said Marcus Buford, director, Amazon Operations.
“We are excited to break ground on these new sortation centers in Arizona, where more than 25 years of Amazon’s operational expertise, technology advancements and investment in transportation infrastructure is enabling faster delivery for our community.”
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers is just as excited.
“We are honored to welcome yet another global corporation to Glendale’s New Frontier,” Weiers said. “Amazon’s core commitment to excellence is well known, and we are so proud they picked Glendale. This location along the Loop 303 corridor provides businesses like Amazon with unique accessibility while continuing to meet customer needs.”
Sortation centers are a critical part of the “middle mile,” or the period of transporting packages between Amazon sites prior to last-mile delivery for customers. Packages are shipped to sort centers from Amazon Air hubs and gateways as well as fulfillment centers to be sorted by ZIP code before being transported to delivery stations or last-mile delivery partners for customer delivery.
“Packages come to sort centers from a variety of locations,” Guinn said. “A lot of the packages we see in the area come from fulfillment centers. Our fulfillment centers fill customer orders.
“After a customer places an order, that order is relayed to a fulfillment center. That’s where we have employees pick the order and pack in Amazon boxes and send out the door. Typically, those Amazon boxes go to a sortation center, and employees are sorting those packages by ZIP code and move on to delivery stations or last-mile delivery partners.”
The sites are expected to open later this year and create hundreds of new full- and part-time jobs, all paying a starting wage of $15 per hour.
“We just invite people to stay tuned about open positions,” Guinn said.
In 2007, Amazon opened its first Arizona fulfillment center in Phoenix with 300 employees. The company now employs more than 32,000 full- and part-time employees across the state. Amazon’s investments across Arizona include 23 customer fulfillment and delivery sites, a Tech Hub, an air gateway, a Prime Now hub, an Amazon Books store and Amazon 4-star store, and 10 Whole Foods Market locations. The Greater Phoenix Chamber recently named Amazon as a 2021 IMPACT Award recipient in the Economic Driver category.
Amazon prioritizes the safety and health of its employees and invested $11.5 billion in 2020 on COVID-19-related initiatives to keep employees safe and get products to customers.
—Executive Editor Christina Fuoco-Karasinski can be reached at