Inside Scotland’s largest Amazon warehouse ahead of Black Friday and Christmas
One of the UK's biggest Amazon warehouses near Edinburgh is gearing up for its busiest time of the year. Ahead of Black Friday on November 25 and Christmas, the behemoth Dunfermline depot dubbed EDI4 is the third biggest Amazon site in the UK. It boasts 5,900 solar panels - which generate the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 320 homes per year.
READ MORE - West Lothian lorry crashes into wall as emergency services race to ongoing incident We took a sneak peek inside the modern-day Santa's workshop to see just how the huge operation works. Hundreds of seasonal staff will soon join the permanent workforce which is around 1,200 people who are ready to package the thousands of Items that can be seen stacked floor to ceiling.
While visiting our reporter said that it was more similar to a huge airport than an industrial factory and manager Jamie who gave the tour joked that you got plenty of ideas for Christmas presents due to the vast variety of bizarre products you package.There are thousands of items. (SWNS)
Jamie Strain, Dunfermline's EDI4 general manager, told Edinburgh Live they are entering the busiest time of year, and in just a few more weeks the massive facility will be running at full capacity. "The Amazon website offers more than 250 million items online, and we have just under 10 million items available on site," he said. "It's hard to wrap your head around sometimes."
TheDunfermline Amazon facilityis more than 1.5 million sq. ft., and it is the size of 17 football pitches with more than 3km of conveyor belts throughout and four halls full of multiple floors, it's hard to imagine the size..The factory is soon set to be at full capacity (SWNS)
There are three halls to house four stages of the ordering process - receiving, stowing, packing, and shipping - and each hall feels big enough to be its own facility. At first glance, Jamie said the random stow method appears to be less efficient and more chaotic, but in reality, it alleviates congestion and means 'the system' can always create easy and effective 'picker paths.' "Imagine we kept all the Harry Potter books together on one shelf.
Those are really in-demand items so we'd have a lot of pickers all together in one space. It would be too busy," Jamie said.There is a system in place for maximum efficiency.(SWNS)
"Plus, look at the size of this hall: if the items are spread out, it means there's a better chance that an item will be closer to where a picker is rather than walking back and forth all day." Sign up for Edinburgh Live newsletters for more headlines straight to your inbox
As soon as you order an item, the order is sent to a fulfilment centre, such as Dunfermline, where employees called pickers set off to find your items and send them for packaging. If you order more than one item, there's a good chance each one is 'picked' individually by different employees. The giant Amazon factory is still hiring ahead of the festive season and you can find out more here.