- Amazon is on track to install new technology in its performance centers
- This technology will package items being shipped out
- 1,300 jobs are expected to be cut as a direct result in the first phase
The ever forward march of technology has brought about a lot of improvements and opened up new possibilities and markets. One of the ways it has done this is by the creation of whole new job markets such as in blockchain, which is on track to add trillions to global trade.
However, there are some downsides to new technology such as the fact that it can contribute towards the loss of jobs and not just the creation of new markets. One example of this is a report from May 13, 2019, that shows that Amazon intends to roll out new machines that will help in the packing of orders in their warehouses and that will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs as they will replacing human workers that have carried out this task so far.
Technology marches on
While the implementation of this new technology is expected to take place over the course of months and years, Amazon has already been implementing this technology in its warehouses as a bit of a test run. The technology works by scanning the goods that come down the conveyor belt and envelopes them in boxes that are made for each type of item. While this is typically done by human beings, the machines are being brought in to replace them.
Amazon is allegedly considering installing two of these machines at about a dozen warehouses which would lead to the removal of 24 jobs at each one. Each facility typically employees 2,000 people and the implementation of this technology will lead to over 1,300 job cuts across 55 performance centers across the United States – as a first step.
The internet giant expects to recover the cost of these machines within two years as it costs $1 million per machine and also requires additional expenses for maintenance.
Automation taking over?
While Amazon plans to reduce labor costs and increase profits across-the-board, the pickup of items, which is its most common task, cannot be automated at this time. Also, these changes in technology will take a long time before they can be fully rolled out. The company has, however, not been shy about its plans to automate a good percentage of its operations over the next few years.
“We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement. “We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”