Amazon Centers: The Amazon Sort Center vs Fulfillment Center

Amazon has two types of shipment centers and they differ in many ways.

  • Written by Ellie Kwon
  • Published on December 4, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Amazon has two types of centers. They call them sort centers and fulfillment centers. These centers differ in many ways. From size to purpose, they work in the supply chain differently. In this blog, let’s break down the differences between an Amazon sort center vs fulfillment center.

What is an Amazon Sort Center?

Firstly, sort centers sort packages. They receive packages from different locations and sort them based on their destinations. 

An Amazon sort center is a facility where they sort by destination. These centers are more diminutive than fulfillment centers and are usually located closer to cities. They service customers who have ordered products from Amazon. 

A sorting center is like an intelligent organizer. It’s where packages get organized based on where they need to be delivered. It groups packages going to the same place so they can be sent together, which makes things faster and more efficient.

The Sorting Center focuses on these tasks.

  1. Package Arrival

 Packages from various sources arrive at the sorting center.

  1. Sorting

They sort packages based on their destination. They use automated machinery and conveyor systems to do this.

  1. Grouping

Packages with the same destination get grouped together to be loaded onto identical transportation vehicles.

  1. Loading

They load sorted packages onto trucks, vans, or other transportation methods for delivery to local distribution centers or directly to customers.

What is a Fulfillment Center?

On the other hand, fulfillment centers store, pack, and ship products. They receive products from suppliers and store them until customers order them. Then, they pack and ship the products to the customers.

Think of a fulfillment center as a giant storage and shipping place. It’s like a giant warehouse where they keep products. When you buy something online, they pick the items from this place, pack them, and send them to your house.

The Fulfillment Center focuses on these specific tasks.

  1. Receiving

Suppliers and manufacturers receive the products. They then store them in the fulfillment center’s inventory.

  1. Inventory Management

 Fulfillment centers manage inventory levels. This ensures that products are available for order fulfillment.

  1. Order Processing

 When customers place orders online, the fulfillment center receives and begins processing the order information.

  1. Picking

 Workers pick the items from the shelves according to the order.

  1. Packing

Picked items are packaged securely for shipping. This includes protective materials and appropriate labeling.

  1. Shipping

Packages are shipped out to customers.

What is the Difference?

Secondly, sort centers are more petite than fulfillment centers. Sort centers are usually located closer to the cities, making it easier to sort packages and send them to the closest fulfillment center. Fulfillment centers are more extensive and can store more products. They locate them further away from cities. This makes it easier for them to store more products and have more space for packing and shipping.

Lastly, sort centers and fulfillment centers have different types of jobs. Sort centers require fewer skills than fulfillment centers. Sorting packages requires less training and education than storing, packing, and shipping products. Fulfillment centers require more skills and education because they handle the entire process of getting products to customers.

Why Do We Keep Them Separate?

Amazon has two different types of centers, sort and fulfillment centers because each center serves a different purpose in getting products to customers. 

Sort centers are responsible for sorting packages based on their destinations, usually located closer to cities. This makes it easier for them to sort the packages and send them to the nearest fulfillment center for further processing.

On the other hand, fulfillment centers are responsible for storing, packing, and shipping products to customers. They are usually located further away from cities because they require more space to store products and pack and ship them to customers.

By having separate centers for sorting and fulfillment, Amazon can streamline the process of getting products to customers. Sort centers ensure that packages are sorted quickly and efficiently, while fulfillment centers ensure that products are stored, packed, and shipped to customers on time.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, sort and fulfillment centers have different roles, sizes, and job requirements. While sorting centers sort packages, fulfillment centers store, pack, and ship products. Sort centers are smaller and require fewer skills, while fulfillment centers are more extensive and require more skills. Knowing the differences between an Amazon sort center vs fulfillment center can help you understand how Amazon delivers its products to its customers.

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