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Amazon’s new Alberta robotic hub biggest in West

Planned 600,000-square-foot distribution facility near Edmonton will dwarf similar Amazon facility planned at Port of Vancouver
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Parkland County, Ledcor Construction and Panattoni Development officials break ground on Amazon build. | Submitted

U.S. retail commerce giant Amazon will open a giant distribution facility in Acheson, Parkland County, about 20 kilometres west of Edmonton, next year, the company has announced.

The 600,000-square-foot centre, Amazon’s first robotics facility in Alberta, will be the largest in Western Canada, dwarfing a similar 450,000-square-foot robotics hub planned for the Port of Vancouver in Richmond, B.C.

Despite the Parkland County warehouse’s use of robots, Amazon expects to hire more than 1,000 full- and part-time staff to work at the facility.

“Parkland County is an ideal location for fulfillment centres. It is part of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, offering easy access to 1.4 million customers. Its strategic location along the CanaMex corridor and the Trans-Canadian highway, allows companies to cover, via truck, all of Western Canada within one-day drive,” said Rod Shaigec, Mayor of the Town of Acheson.

The Acheson build is being developed in partnership with Parkland County, Panattoni Development Company and QuadReal.

Meanwhile, Amazon plans to build five new distribution centres in Metro Vancouver, including the robotics fulfillment centre at the Port of Vancouver’s Richmond Logistics Hub.

Two years ago, Amazon secured 450,000 square feet at the Delta IPort industrial park, which is on land leased from the Tsawwassen First Nation, for a large distribution facility.

Amazon estimates that the new centres will create up to 2,000 jobs, half of them at the Port of Vancouver site.

Other sites are in Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Delta and Langley, the e-commerce giant announced May 7.

Amazon employs more than 3,600 people in the Prairies and has invested more than $600 million in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, according to company statements.