As Amazon Ponders Airborne Fulfilment Centers Demand for Vertical Warehousing Grows

As Amazon Ponders Airborne Fulfilment Centers Demand for Vertical Warehousing Grows

With the first U.S. multistory warehouses preparing to open and Amazon contemplating futuristic airborne fulfillment centers, demand is growing for the vertical construction of urban warehouses with smaller real estate footprints.

Multistory Vertical Fulfillment Centers

As reported by Rob Smith, National Retail Reporter, CoStar Group, Amazon, the online innovator that changed retailing, now has plans for a futuristic airborne fulfillment center where it would use drones to deliver goods.

The e-commerce giant was granted a patent for the concept last month, and it has another pending for a vertical warehouse that looks more like a skyscraper than a distribution center.

The cutting-edge ideas show how far developers may have to go to address the growing demand for industrial space as more Americans shop online.

Already, the first multistory warehouses in the U.S. are scheduled to open in urban areas as developers and retailers respond to the rise in e-commerce and the need for quick delivery of goods.

Amazon and other retailers are analyzing their supply chains and shifting how developers view warehouse space.

“The changes we’re undergoing right now are coming at a pace we’ve never seen before,” said Garrick Brown, vice president and head of retail research, Americas, at commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. “The evolution in the next 10 years will match what we’ve seen in the last 40.”

Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, could conceivably test concepts such as the futuristic fulfillment centers at its planned second headquarters location, which it has said it will announce this year.

According to the patent, the airborne fulfillment center is designed to look somewhat like a blimp and to float thousands of feet up in the sky where drones buzz in, pick up packages and fly away to make deliveries.

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