A typical Amazon warehouse has loading docks for trucks to pull up to on either side to keep merchandise moving through. Two shifts keep operations running nearly 24 hours a day as the holidays approach, with groups of employees keeping goods moving along an 8-mile maze of conveyor belts. Orange robots that move faster than humans carry shelves full of merchandise to stations where workers can reach them. Screens show the workers what the desired item looks like and where it is placed so they can pluck it off the shelf quickly and accurately. That’s a far cry from a conventional warehouse, where workers have to memorize—often by location number—where items are stored, and then go looking for them when needed.
Classroom discussion questions:
- Is it difficult to recruit workers for these short seasonal jobs?
- Who are the typical recruits?