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An inside look at how online shopping works at Amazon

This holiday shopping season, many people have already hopped online to purchase our gifts.

Once you click the buy button, how does your package get to you?

Local 4′s consumer investigator Hank Winchester went to the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Romulus and received an exclusive look during its busiest time of the year.

The building is 855,000 square feet -- nearly 20 acres. It could fit 14 football fields inside.

“We’re constantly using advanced technology, machine learning, and sophisticated algorithms to keep everything running smoothly," said Amazon representative Andre Woodson.

Every item available on Amazon Prime is housed inside the building, along with more than 10 miles of conveyor belts to move products.

The second someone clicks the yellow button, Amazon’s robots go to work. Codes on the floor set up tracks that tell robots where to go and which associate to bring.

An associate gets your order and starts filling it, whether you have an item or 10!

People worry about how automation can take jobs from people, but the process is like a synchronized symphony of robots and humans working together.

There’s checks and balances with each, making sure items are sorted timely and -- most importantly -- correctly.

When the associate approaches, the computer will shine a light on the bin where the item is located. As the associate scans the item, the computer tells them which box or envelope to use.

Within seconds, it’s weighed to confirm its contents, the final labels are applied and it is put on the trucks.

Amazon shared this fun fact with Local 4 during the tour: When the center in Romulus opened in July 2018, the first shipment sent out was fish hooks -- a perfect purchase for the Great Lakes state.


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