Amazon plans to open a new distribution center at Tradepoint Atlantic in eastern Baltimore County in time for this year’s holiday season, where 500 workers will pack and ship large consumer items such as sports equipment and furniture.
It will be the online retail giant’s fourth distribution center in Maryland.
Tradepoint Atlantic announced Amazon’s plans Thursday to use an existing 1 million-square foot facility at the sprawling distribution and logistics hub on the former Sparrows Point steel mill site.
Amazon had said earlier this month that it plans to hire an additional 3,000 people in full- and part-time jobs in Maryland because of the spike in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
The online retailer has seen its business surge during the pandemic, with revenue up more than 26% in the first quarter.
“As many regular stores remain closed, more consumers are turning to Amazon for essential and especially nonessential purchases,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. “This includes more consumers joining Amazon Prime both to secure the enhanced delivery options and to enjoy the streamed content as they stay home more.”
Saunders said the company’s “superior” logistics and fulfillment operations are “coming into their own amid the crisis."
Amazon already runs an 855,000-square foot robotics fulfillment center at Tradepoint, the site of the former Bethlehem Steel mill in Sparrows Point, where it employs more than 2,000 people. The retailer is upgrading Tradepoint’s latest building, which was completed in 2018 but not leased, and expanding it to nearly 1.4 million square feet.
Workers there will pick, pack and ship larger items, such as sports equipment, bulk paper goods, patio furniture, home goods and electronics. The building is expected to open this fall.
“Tradepoint Atlantic’s success in creating great paying jobs, expanding the global supply chain, and supporting Maryland’s economy has been nothing short of tremendous," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “The fact that Amazon continues to grow in our state is a testament to what is possible when you combine a world-class logistical operation with a world-class work force.”
Amazon has invested more than $3 billion in distribution centers and compensation in the state since 2010, said Tom Benz, Amazon’s regional director of operations.
It employs 7,000 people in Maryland, and has contributed to creating an additional 6,000 indirect jobs, according to analysis developed by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Developers said they had constructed the warehouse hoping to attract businesses seeking access to the Port of Baltimore and the interstate highway system.