For the last few years, Amazon has often threatened to usher in a technology that could save the company millions by reducing the number of jobs that involve repetitive work, and it seems that the company has finally found a solution. In an exclusive report by Reuters, it has emerged that the company is all set to take a tech fuelled battering ram to the heart of its business, the task of packaging the boxes that are meant for delivery. While it is a measure that it is going to save the company hundreds of millions in employee costs, it is also going to put thousands of employees at the company out of a job, and that is probably a huge concern at this point of time. However, as a policy, this is nothing new for Amazon, and as everyone knows, over the years the e-commerce giant has used a range of new machines to slowly eat into a range of jobs at the company’s warehouses.
The machines in question have already been tried at some warehouses, and the results have been satisfying, which is why it is now being speculated that a wider launch could happen soon. The machine in question scans the product that is to be packaged in a conveyor belt and in a matter of seconds, the product is boxed into the Amazon boxes. The machines would cost the company $ 1 million each over the course of a couple of years, but at the same time, the long term savings could prove to be enormous. Each machine is capable of performing the work of as many as 12 people, and currently, the company is aiming to install two such machines in their warehouses. On average, those warehouses employ 2000 people, and if the machines are installed in greater numbers, then it could lead to a deluge of job losses.
According to the report, the company can expect to lay off 1300 packing employees who are spread over as many as 55 warehouses or fulfilment centres that the company owns. A spokesperson for Amazon said,
We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network. We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.
These plans had gone under the radar, but the company must have been working on it for quite some time.