E-commerce giant Amazon said Tuesday it will open a new “fulfillment center” in Macon as part of its mission to speed up delivery of products to consumers.
The warehouse and distribution hub — Amazon’s fourth in Georgia — will employ more than 500, a news release from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said.
The announcement comes as Georgia is also in the hunt for Amazon’s second headquarters, a 50,000-job bonanza sought by more than 200 cities across North America.
“Amazon’s continued investment in our state speaks to our dedication to improve, expand and modernize Georgia’s logistics and distribution network,” Deal said in the release. “As a top national distribution hub, suppliers can reach 80 percent of the U.S. population from Georgia in just a 2-day truck drive or a 2-hour flight.”
Georgia has seen a boom in warehouse development since the recession. The development binge is in part because of strong consumer sales since the downturn and the shift to online retailing.
Georgia’s logistics and freight businesses also have been buoyed by the growth of cargo flowing into and out of ports in Savannah and Brunswick. Savannah in particular has seen a surge in business since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal.
Amazon has three similar facilities in metro Atlanta. The Macon facility will total 1 million square feet in a leased facility.
“Georgia continues to be a great place for Amazon to do business and we look forward to adding a fulfillment center to better serve our customers in the region,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon vice president of North America customer fulfillment. “Our new fulfillment center in Macon will create hundreds of full-time jobs with competitive pay and great benefits. We’re glad to be a part of the community and provide a positive economic impact for the region.”
State recruiters briefed Georgia’s economic development board Monday on the state’s Amazon bid. Though few details were shared, Deputy Commissioner of Global Commerce Tom Croteau said the state pitched urban and suburban sites and the state expects Amazon to start calling on cities with site visits beginning in November with a decision to be made next year.
“The good news is we have worked with Amazon on many projects in the past,” Croteau said. “We know their economic development team. … We have a bid proposal that we were very proud to put together that speaks in their language.”