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Look inside the new Amazon distribution centre on the edge of Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 15:46 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:46 01 October 2020

A new Amazon sorting warehouse is now in operation at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A new Amazon sorting warehouse is now in operation at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Amazon has started operating from its new distribution centre on the edge of Ipswich, which created around 40 full-time jobs.

A new Amazon distribution centre is now in operation at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDA new Amazon distribution centre is now in operation at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The new distribution centre started operating fully at the end of July and services 20 different distribution companies which have a fleet of more than 200 vans to distribute shopping around the region.

We were shown around the new centre, which is not large by Amazon standards. It is one of a number that have opened across the country to distribute shopping for the final part of their journey to homes or offices.

MORE: Amazon announces plans for new distribution centre

Laurie Coffey, delivery centre operations manager in the outdoor loading area at the new Amazon  centre at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDLaurie Coffey, delivery centre operations manager in the outdoor loading area at the new Amazon centre at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The centre, on the Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park off Sproughton Road – the former sugar beet factory site – is one of three in East Anglia. There are similar centres in Norwich and Basildon serving Norfolk and Essex south of Colchester.

Much of the work is carried out overnight to ensure next-day deliveries can be fulfilled with lorries from larger fulfilment centres arriving from about 10.30pm and full sorting under way from 1.30am. By the time most people are heading to work, much of the Amazon team’s work is done.

But from 10am to noon there is another flurry of activity as the fleet of vans are loaded and sent on their way around Suffolk and the Colchester/Clacton area of Essex. During the afternoon a smaller group of part-time staff collect items for delivery in the more immediate area.

The colourful bags are co-ordinated according to each parcel. A new Amazon distribution centre is now in operation at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe colourful bags are co-ordinated according to each parcel. A new Amazon distribution centre is now in operation at Eastern Gateway Enterprise Park in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Inside the building, safety is king for staff with two-metre distance markers in evidence everywhere and all staff wear masks during their work – there are temperature checks for everyone arriving at the centre. There is even a safety marshall on patrol with a megaphone to remind staff about safety rules while they are working.

Operations manager Laurie Coffey is a former US Navy fighter pilot who left the military after serving in Europe and is now enjoying life getting to grips with the logistics industry. She said: “My last Naval posting was in Italy, but we felt we wanted to stay in Europe, but in somewhere where they spoke English, so I ended up here. It’s different – but it’s an exciting new challenge.”


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