The Amazon Fulfillment Center in San Bernardino is enormous, 1-million-square-feet in size. To put that another way, that’s about the same size as 50 football fields put side by side. When you walk through the distribution center, you’re surrounded by assembly lines of workers packaging products quickly and efficiently to send off to customers. It’s the closest you can to Santa’s workshop without going to the North Pole. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)
Not so long ago, California and online retail giant Amazon were locked in a bitter conflict over sales tax. State authorities wanted to implement an online sales tax, but Amazon was bitterly opposed to the idea. That stand-off ended in 2011 when Governor Brown signed a bill that delayed the collection of the taxes for one year in exchange for Amazon dropping an effort for a voter referendum which would overturn an earlier online sales tax law.
Now that the Golden State and Amazon have made up, the e-commerce giant is building giant product distribution centers in Northern and Southern California called fulfillment centers. We visited one of these massive facilities this week in San Bernardino. It opened last year and is in the midst of expanding. (Photos below).
Like other cities in the Inland Empire, San Bernardino is becoming home to more and more of these distribution centers. Why? Cheap land and access to freeways and railroads makes it easier to get merchandise into customers’ hands as fast as possible. You can hear more on tonight’s Which Way, LA?