Amazon – WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get

As predicted in our report from 9 August.

Jo Kent, BBC South Today, Friday 18 November

You might share Jo Kent’s alarmed expression from BBC South Today (Friday 18 November 2022) when you watch the three-minute clip below and remember that the Havant distribution hub is almost 40% bigger than this one just opened at Poole.

BBC South Today – 18 November 2022

A few quotations from the piece:

“In the UK [Amazon] runs 30 fulfilment centres which process all those customer orders. Parcels then go through one of 70 distribution hubs before delivery. The newest depot is in Poole, replacing a smaller site with 150 staff transferring to the new facility

“[The Poole site] covers an area stretching all the way from near Bridport in the west to the outskirts of Southampton and as far north as Salisbury. That’s a lot of ground to be covered by the fleets of vans that pour out from here every day all driven by self-employed sole traders whatever it says on the uniform.”

“Charlie and Nathan, who’ve just finished another night shift here in Poole – as Nathan says the pay is certainly better than the Leisure Park where he used to work and both say three days a week makes four ten-and-a-half hour night shifts a price worth paying once you progress you get more awake once the sun comes up as well your body feels more awake, so um yeah it’s not typically not too bad once you get used to it. We have inbound lorries from all over the UK from our fulfilment centres, they come in the doors we have to sort them. It’s a long process, takes about 10 hours. We normally process around 40,000 shipments a night so it’s quite a rush getting 40,000 through one door and out the other in a safe manner.”

If you’ve not already seen the House of Commons Select Committee session with Amazon from Tuesday, follow this link.

Just remember, the 32 New Lane site is almost 40% bigger than the Poole operation.

At least Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s planners had the good sense to site Amazon Poole in a sensible place with respect to the strategic road network. Given that the bulk of the 32 New Lane vans will be heading out to service customers in Portsmouth, wouldn’t it have made far more sense to locate the Amazon Havant operation at Dunsbury Park? After all, that site is owned by Portsmouth City Council and Havant Borough Council could still have had the business rate income and the few employment opportunities available.

Dunsbury Park

Once the announcement is finally made, we’re looking forward to Havant Borough Council explaining quite how it was that the Amazon opportunity ended up with the owners of 32 New Lane.

On a lighter note

It’s been pointed out to us that much as we may occasionally take HBC to task, things could be an awful lot worse: