In the long run, installing the aforementioned automation hardware in all 55 fulfillment centers for standard-sized inventory now operated by Amazon in the U.S. would lead to over 1,300 job cuts.
The company looked into putting two of these $1 million machines into dozens more warehouses, Reuters reported, which would replace at least 24 human workers at each one. The process would likely take some time as Amazon tries to flawless the technology and make sure it's capable of operating smoothly, according to Reuters.
Amazon has been criticized for labor practices at its fulfillment centers in recent years. Walmart is among the other companies that have deployed this technology.
A spokesperson for Amazon said they are piloting the new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across their network. Dubbed CartonWrap, the assembly-line appliance cranks out as many as 700 boxes per hour-five times the rate of a flesh-and-blood packer. The machines require supervision from three people to load orders, fix jams, and restock glue and cardboard. This offer has been made available to both part-time and full-time Amazon employees including the warehouse workers who may soon become obsolete with the introduction of Amazon's new packing system.
More than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since the firm launched the Delivery Service Partner program last June.