Amazon is slashing 353 workers and shutting down two suburban Baltimore logistics centers to cut costs.
The closures mark an abrupt reversal of Amazon’s ambitious expansion plan that included apparently endless recruiting sprees over the previous decade.
The retailer filed a couple of layoff notifications with the state on August 26, mirroring its reductions in other US cities this year.
The closures will take effect on October 25.
An Amazon spokesperson said that the affected employees will be offered positions at its other facilities within a 10-mile radius of the logistics centers.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification report shows that layoffs will shut two last-mile delivery stations, hitting 190 staff in Hanover and 163 staff in Essex.
The spokesperson said: “We regularly look at how we can improve the experience for our employees, partners, drivers, and customers, and that includes upgrading our facilities.
“As part of that effort, we’ll be closing our delivery stations in Hanover and Essex and offering all employees the opportunity to transfer to several different delivery stations close by.
“These facilities provide upgraded amenities including onsite parking and break rooms with Canteen vending.”
Amazon’s CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said in early August the company’s direct employees declined by 99,000 from the first to second quarters of the year.
The drop was due to a downsizing of its warehouse staffing that had risen considerably during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Olsavsky said the recruiting for the rest of the year will be based on specific requirements in its offices and warehouses.
After the 99,000 workforce reduction, Amazon’s headcount was around 1.52 million at the start of July.
In Greater Baltimore, the corporation has a direct workforce of 15,000 people.
Over the last decade, Amazon has established multiple warehouses and last-mile fulfillment and sorting centers throughout Greater Baltimore.
The sizes of these facilities range from huge to midrange to small.
It comprises four warehouses in Southeast Baltimore, two new massive warehouses in Dundalk, a new warehouse in Hagerstown, and a 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse in Cecil County.
Since 2011, the company has engaged thousands of local laborers for those sites, with a full and part-time staff at Tradepoint alone totaling 2,500 last year.
Amazon spent $90.5 million on a six-building industrial complex at the Baltimore Commons Business Park in Hanover in April 2020.
The firm had two sortation centers, five delivery stations, one Prime Now Hub, one Air Hub, ten Whole Food Markets, and one Amazon Hub Locker+ site in the city.
It also had one Amazon Book store and four on-site solar locations, including a solar installation at Tradepoint Atlantic’s new warehouse.
Amazon officials said last year that the firm was looking to add 6,200 permanent roles in Maryland to raise its US workforce by 125,000 full and part-time fulfillment and transportation jobs.
The construction was taking place as the business prepared to staff its 40,000-person workforce at its Northern Virginia second headquarters.
Carroll stated Amazon is still hiring in the Greater Baltimore area.
In its sixth consecutive Christmas hiring spree, the retailer aimed to employ 1,700 seasonal workers in Baltimore with signing bonuses of up to $3,000 last October.
Source: The Business Journals