This March 31, 2021 photo shows a sign at an Amazon Fulfillment Center in North Las Vegas. Amazon says it plans to open a new warehouse in Alberta that will use robotics to help pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and toys. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Locher

Amazon to open new warehouse that will use robotics in Alberta next year

Amazon to open new warehouse that will use robotics in Alberta next year

EDMONTON — Amazon.com Inc. will turn to robots to help pick, pack and ship parcels at a new Canadian facility.

The Seattle-based e-commerce company said Monday that it will use robotics to put together small orders of books, electronics and toys at a new warehouse in Parkland County, Alta., west of Edmonton.

The technology has been used at other Amazon warehouses since 2012, but the company said the 5,574 square-metre Parkland location will be its first robotics facility in Alberta.

“We’re excited to expand our operations and create great, safe careers of the future for talented Albertans starting on day one,” said Vibhore Arora, a regional director at Amazon Canada, in a release.

“Robotics and advanced technologies make our fulfilment centres safer and more collaborative.”

Despite the warehouse’s use of robots, Amazon said it will hire more than 1,000 full- and part-time staff to work at the facility, which is expected to open next year.

Amazon already employs more than 3,600 employees full- and part-time operations employees in the Prairie provinces and has invested more than $600 million in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in recent years.

Last week, Amazon said it will purchase power from a massive new solar farm in Alberta, marking the e-commerce giant’s second renewable energy investment in Canada.

Amazon signed a deal to buy up to 400 MW of electricity from Travers Solar, a $700-million, 465-MW project southeast of Calgary.

Earlier this month, Amazon said it employed more than 23,000 full- and part-time people at fulfilment centres, corporate offices and other facilities in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.

It planned to hire 1,800 workers in corporate and technical roles, including many in Vancouver and Toronto. The new hires, it said, will support team working on Amazon Web Services, Alexa, advertising and retail and operations technology.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2021.

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