Amazon is “running out of available space”

Amazon is running out of warehouse space and labour according to a former employee.

The ecommerce giant turned away goods from warehouses for a number of weeks last year because it didn’t have the staff or space to fulfil them safely and is still playing catch-up, former employee Andrea Leigh said.

The news comes as the company announced slower growth than expected in its latest quarter, seeing its shares fall seven per cent.

Sales are returning to pre-pandemic levels as shoppers are venturing outside more and Covid restrictions lift, with Amazon seeking to meet previous demands.

“Amazon is running out of available space. They’re also running out of labour,” Leigh, who is now chief executive of ecommerce optimisation group Ideoclick told the Financial Times.

The news comes despite the platform almost doubling its logistics and storage networks in the last 18 months and is expecting significant internal investment ahead, including the cost of hiring and training new staff.

READ MORE: Pret A Manger to launch automated vending machines as it struggles to find staff

Amazon was forced to raise wages earlier than it expected and also added bonuses to attract full and part-time workers, who now total 1,335,000 globally.

According to logistics consultancy firm MWPVL International, the ecommerce leader plans to add 517 facilities to its global distribution network in the next few years, adding 176 million square feet to the 402 million it already owns.

It’s not just Amazon that is running out of space however, the online sales boost as a result of the pandemic has led to a nationwide warehouse shortage in the UK according to real estate group CBRE.

As businesses mobilised their ecommerce operations during the pandemic, warehouse space has suffered as retailers look to third-party logistics companies to help ease supply issues.

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