Amazon was already popular, but the addition of Prime subscription that provides free same-day delivery for all orders over $35 that ship to eligible destinations
helped the company skyrocket to the top position in the market. So, how does Amazon have such fast shipping? They pull it off with multiple warehouses for distribution, shipping with carriers that are optimal for each order, and implementing complex automated solutions to speed up the process in fulfillment centers.
With over 180 fulfillment centers across the US alone, the multi-origin network is the secret sauce behind Amazon's fast shipping. It is not a question of how many Amazon fulfillment centers there are, but rather where they are located
. As we explained before
, it is a matter of eliminating high-rate deliveries by having warehouses closer to the customer. Three strategically-placed fulfillment centers would cut up to 70% off the shipping cost, whereas the 180 Amazon centers allow the company to offer the kind of service unattainable by smaller businesses.
It is also essential to understand how an Amazon fulfillment center works. It is not a typical warehouse with stacks of categorized goods and handcarts. Everything is handled by a small army of robots that move giant towers of packages, with labels being applied automatically by custom-made low-powered air guns.