Locally owned. Supported by members.

Photos and detail: Amazon nears opening of large Nampa facility

Boise Centre is open
Idaho Business pres. by My 102.7

Nine months after construction started on the new Amazon warehouse facility in Nampa, the company gave the media a tour Tuesday. The building, which the company calls a “robotics fulfillment center” covers 650,000 square feet in a former farm field visible from Interstate 84.

BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • Amazon Nampa

    Click here for details, information & past stories

“This facility will serve the Treasure Valley, but packages could go across the US or even internationally,” Amazon Boise General Manager Tim McIntosh said. “We will fulfill millions of packages from here each week.”

The company said it will hire as many as 2,000 workers for the facility. So far, Amazon posted just a few jobs – including a “loss prevention specialist” (someone to monitor theft), a medical representative, area managers and a few others.

While McIntosh could not say just when the center would open, he said it would happen “this year,” and that an extensive staffing process would start one to two months ahead of opening.

“We will be up and running to support the holiday season,” he said.

Amazon Fulfillment Nampa, ID
A worker continues assembly of machinery in side the building. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Robotics, people drive process

Amazon Robotics
An Amazon robot base unit, signed by local leaders who toured the facility Tuesday morning. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev
- Story continues below ads -
BRR Careers
IBL Events

A total of 40-million individual items will be stored in the building, typically.

McIntosh said even with the robotics, the 2,000 employees would be more than a typical fulfillment center.

“These sites employ the highest level of employees,” he said, referring to number of people employed. “They employ more than a facility without robotics typically.”

While this is the first Amazon center in Idaho, the company operates 150 across the country. Of those, about 50 use robotics, McIntosh said.

On the second, third and fourth levels of the warehouse, product is stored in tall yellow crates. Robots move the crates across the floor to workers, who will then grab the product and send it down to the ground floor to be packed in a box and shipped.

Each robot weighs about 200 pounds, and can support a crate of up to 15,000 pounds. They glide across the floor in an area where people are not present – unless maintenance is required, in which case the robotics system is disabled.

Boosting fulfillment capacity

The center will help the company fulfill online orders of a variety of items. Amazon worked to increase its logistics advantage and offer quicker delivery times for members of its Amazon Prime program.

Trailers will unload items on one end of the building, and another set of employees will load finished orders on trucks at the other side of the facility after procession. Drivers will then take orders in those 53′ foot trailers to other Amazon facilities, where the trucks will be unpacked and loaded on the smaller vans you see around town.

Amazon worked secretly for more than a year to get the project approved, using a shell company and the codename “Project Bronco” for the facility. The Idaho Press and BoiseDev found evidence well before the City of Nampa made the announcement that Amazon was behind the project.

Workers and quotas

The company said it would offer a $15 minimum wage, as well as benefits. Amazon repeatedly came under fire across the country for working conditions in its facilities but says it made steps to improve the treatment of workers. The company said it started investing in helping employees learn new skills and other initiatives.

Amazon Nampa robotics
An Amazon employee demonstrates the robotics system. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

BoiseDev asked if the center will use a quota system for workers, which has generated significant complaint from employees at other sites around the country

McIntosh answered the quota question by saying they would put safety first, and listed the company’s COVID protocol. When we asked again if quotas would be used, he declined to answer.

Separately, Amazon started work on a distribution center in Boise near Gowen Rd. Dozens of Amazon Prime vehicles currently use the largely-empty Boise Factory Outlet Mall parking lot as a temporary staging site.

Media gathers for the tour Tuesday. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Local news. Locally owned. Supported by members.

Your membership makes these stories possible. Plus, you get our popular daily email with all our stories delivered straight to you.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

Another Idaho resort (yes, another one) listed for sale

Another Idaho resort is for sale.  This time it's is the Sourdough Restaurant and Lodge right off of Highway...

Four Cushman & Wakefield team members leave to expand new Boise CBRE office

A team of four former employees of Cushman & Wakefield's local Boise office moved to a new firm this month. Jake Miller,...

Albertsons buys group of stores from bankrupt east coast chain, declares dividend

Albertsons Companies announced Wednesday it would buy up 27 new store locations in the mid-Atlantic region. It also announced a new cash...

Boise’s Clearwater Analytics announces large investment

Boise-based Clearwater Analytics, the Boise-based financial software solution company, landed a new set of investment. In August, BoiseDev told...

Popular

Hot food delivered? Local cloud kitchen startup Crave adds restaurants – and a pickup option

Crave Delivery, a Boise-based tech startup that aims to bring a collection of cloud kitchens together for home delivery, launched part of...

Eagle business boom: Donuts, bar, coffee, bakery, shops and restaurants come to booming area

Eagle continues its fast growth spurt, with scores of new stores and businesses welcoming customers in the city - as well as...

Another Idaho resort (yes, another one) listed for sale

Another Idaho resort is for sale.  This time it's is the Sourdough Restaurant and Lodge right off of Highway...

Local Ada elections bring in big money; Lachiondo outraises every candidate statewide

Donors are pouring big money into some Ada County elections in the hopes of shifting the balance...
Tamarack Resort Q4 2020

Related

“Massive:” New aerial video shows rapid progress of large new Amazon Nampa fulfillment center

Just a few months ago, we updated you on the progress of the large new Amazon fulfillment center under construction on E....

Tour de’ freeway: Several major developments sprouting up along Interstate 84

Take a drive on Interstate 84 through the heart of the Treasure Valley, and at least one thing — other than the...

Amazon rises: Large warehouse for retail giant starts to take shape along I-84

Amazon reshaped the retail landscape over the last 20 years. Now, it's reshaping the literal landscape in Nampa.

The ‘other’ local Amazon: new details on Boise’s new Amazon facility emerge

Amazon, Inc. will push into the Treasure Valley with a large fulfillment center in Nampa. Previously known as Project Bronco, the...
Boise Centre is open


Latest

Another Idaho resort (yes, another one) listed for sale

Another Idaho resort is for sale.  This time it's is the Sourdough Restaurant and Lodge right off of Highway...

Hot food delivered? Local cloud kitchen startup Crave adds restaurants – and a pickup option

Crave Delivery, a Boise-based tech startup that aims to bring a collection of cloud kitchens together for home delivery, launched part of...

‘No shortage of holiday cheer:’ Winter Garden will (a)glow again – with some changes

2020 has been a long year and maybe you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer.  The Idaho Botanical...

Eagle business boom: Donuts, bar, coffee, bakery, shops and restaurants come to booming area

Eagle continues its fast growth spurt, with scores of new stores and businesses welcoming customers in the city - as well as...

Local Ada elections bring in big money; Lachiondo outraises every candidate statewide

Donors are pouring big money into some Ada County elections in the hopes of shifting the balance...

Wepa!: Puerto Rican restaurant coming soon to Garden City

Puerto Rican cuisine lovers can now say "Wepa!" to the new restaurant being built in Garden City. "Wepa!"...