Hamburg Amazon Facility is out of activity

Hamburg IDA provided more than $6 million in tax breaks and incentives to Amazon.

HAMBURG, NY — We’re working to learn more about what’s happening with the Amazon warehouse built in Hamburg.

It is located off Route 5 and Bayview Road in the Lake Erie Commerce Center Park and so far there is no apparent activity around the 181,000 square foot distribution center.

Weeks after the city of Niagara approved a massive five-story Amazon warehouse in that community, the much smaller Amazon facility now stands still amid parking lots filled with Canada geese rather than truck traffic. On Tuesday we only saw two landscapers on site.

We don’t know what’s in it. But most Amazon warehouses have highly automated systems with robotic equipment to help handle boxes and packages. According to Professor Patrick Penfield, an expert in Supply Chain Studies at the University of Syracuse, that factor and taking an estimated 100 positions could be related to a possible delayed opening.

He says, “Because of the tight labor market that we are in right now, it’s very difficult to hire qualified candidates, qualified employees. So they’re having a bit of trouble with that. Plus, a lot of their warehouses have a lot of robotics and so that require robotics some semiconductor chips and those chips are scarce.

Then there’s Amazon’s financial situation. They may be collapsing, as have many companies that have left overflowing merchandise in this strange post-pandemic world with the seemingly slowing economy. Penfield notes, “They had their worst loss last quarter. They lost $3.8 billion versus in 2021 where they made $8 billion. So I think they’ve delayed a little bit and I know that’s why they have some openings of some warehouses have canceled fact.”

Amazon officials have told investors about increased costs in its fulfillment network. And the industry publication from Freightwaves.com shows that nationally, 16 Amazon warehouses were delayed, canceled or even part of the warehouse for other companies. No facilities in Western New York, including the existing Lancaster and Tonawanda locations, are on that list. And yet, there’s another confusing trend with that publication saying the company plans to build out its warehouse network

We reached out to the director of the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency, which awarded Amazon more than $6 million in tax breaks and premiums last year. He didn’t call us back. City supervisor Randy Hoak said he understood that this facility would be ready for Christmas shopping in November.

So far, we have received no response from Amazon’s Public Relations Department.

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