May 1, 2019 - Technology

Packing boxes with Amazonian speed

A worker at an Amazon warehouse in Baltimore

Cliff Knight at his work station. Photo: Erica Pandey/Axios

Yesterday, I spent an afternoon at a 1-million-square-foot Amazon warehouse in Baltimore, where over 2,500 workers assemble, package and ship out orders every day.

Details: I asked Cliff Knight (above), who works at a packing station, if I could attempt to pack one of the boxes. He cautiously agreed.

  • It took me between two and three minutes to scan a container of Tide Pods, assemble the box, print and add the shipping label, and tape the box shut — probably bad enough to get fired.
  • Cliff says he typically gets through a box in 5–15 seconds.

Fun fact: Amazon says the time that elapses between a customer clicking "buy" and the item getting packaged and shipped is four hours.

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