PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If Amazon.com had its way, every shopper would shop online, and then have that order filled and packaged at fulfillment centers like one in Crafton with products to be delivered to your doorstep by Amazon deliverers, instead of the traditional U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx delivery.
“They really are doing what I would call academically vertical integration. They want to control all steps in the process, and they’re doing that more and more,” Prof. Elaine Luther, a Point Park University business professor, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Luther says Amazon is even exploring getting things customers are likely to order to their closest centers even before the order is called in.
“They’re also developing artificial intelligence software that is going to predict their good customer’s buying behavior and ship to those local locations even before the customer’s order.”
Now despite repeated inquiries, phone calls, and emails to corporate headquarters in Seattle, Amazon.Com would not talk to KDKA-TV about this service.
But sources tell KDKA there are about 50 trucks locally that are out every day, seven days a week, and about 150 people working in the Crafton facility.
One local Amazon worker was eager to share the story.
“It’s very, very, very impressive what they’re doing in there, and how it happens and how you get your stuff when you want it,” says Amazon employee Dave Fairhead.
Delano: “Is the idea to deliver stuff real fast to customers?”
Fairhead: “Yes, yes, yes. I could show you that on our wall inside, but I can’t show you that. You’re not allowed inside.”
Turns out that, locally, Amazon has contracted with three different delivery companies to get products to customers faster than ever and even on Sundays.
“That’s a new one for us,” says Fairhead. “It’s challenging. It’s awesome to deal with though.”