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Metro Detroit Amazon facility processes over 100,000 packages daily

Metro Detroit Amazon facility processes over 100,000 packages daily
Metro Detroit Amazon facility processes over 100,000 packages daily 01:40

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (CBS Detroit) - Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days. But what happens once you receive the confirmation email?

Detroit Now News headed to Amazon's Sterling Heights facility to get a behind-the-scenes look. The delivery station is also known as the "last mile."

It's nicknamed that because the facility is the last step between customers and their orders. Sitting at over 500,000 square feet, the facility processes over 120,000 packages every day, according to Amazon officials. 

Items roll off the conveyor belt, and workers place them in their respective areas. Warehouse employees scan items, then the final bag where it's supposed to be transported... illuminates.

Though it can be a lot of activity, employees brave the tasks.

"I think it's overwhelming every day but in a good way," senior site leader Elizabeth Dreisbach said. "You come into [work] 230 people and 120,000 packages and just roll with them all."

The quick turnaround involves multiple parts. Employees spend their shifts constantly lifting, scanning and rolling.

Being the largest facility in Michigan, Detroit Now News is told the planning for peak season starts three months in advance.

"With Cyber Monday with the Christmas season going, the volume goes up and we have people come and work for us," supervisor Blesson Thomas added.

Once the clock strikes 9:30 a.m., delivery trucks begin to arrive. Afterward, drivers and employees load vans. 

The catch? They must be loaded within 20 minutes. But the process is streamlined.

"We actually load the carts in a specific order so when we pull the bags we pull them bottom to top and load them right to the left. Drivers unload them the opposite way left to right because that's how their route is designated," Dreisbach said. 

Whether boxed or bagged orders reach their final sitting place until it's time to head home.

'Tis the season for porch pirates, so Amazon has advice for those who don't want the Grinch stealing Christmas.

"In Amazon, app customers can actually go in and customize their delivery preference if you don't want it at your front door you can have them delivered to your side," Amazon spokesperson Jessical Pawl said

Although it's a well-oiled machine, sometimes the process does get slowed.

"If something breaks down that can be stressful for the team but we always have a plan in place," Pawl said. 

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