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Cyber Monday at Amazon: Pick, pack and ship

Cyber Monday at Amazon: Pick, pack and ship

It's Cyber Monday morning at the Amazon fulfillment center in Southeast Baltimore, and the clock is ticking.

In the packing department, Marilyn Rochelle stuffs a Donald Trump Chia Pet into a cardboard box filled with bubble wrap, closes it with Amazon logo tape, slaps on a label and places it on a conveyor belt. Off goes the boxed orange pottery planter resembling a stoic president-elect: winding through the warehouse, to be scanned and sent down a slide, loaded onto a truck and shipped to the customer.

Rochelle does this about 100 times an hour, on an 11-hour shift, on the busiest day of the year for the nation's largest online retailer — and on what was forecast to be its...