Amazon workers wrap up pallets of orders for shipment at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Amazon workers wrap up pallets of orders for shipment at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Go behind the scenes at Amazon’s Arlington fulfillment center

Wear sensible shoes: The Seattle-based retail giant launched free, walking tours this week of the massive warehouse.

ARLINGTON — Ever wonder what happens after you push the “Place Order” button on Amazon?

The Seattle retail giant aims to answer your questions with the launch of free public tours at its Arlington fulfillment center.

Guided tours of the 2.8-million-square-foot automated center, a robotic wonderland, begin this week.

Tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays and provide “a behind-the-scenes look at how inventory is stored and orders are fulfilled at PAE2,” the company said.

Amazon uses local airport codes to identify its distribution centers. The Arlington facility takes its name from Everett’s Paine Field, where the airport code is PAE.

“PAE2 is a new site within our operations network that features the latest and greatest of our robotics technology,” Nick Boone-Lutz, the head of Amazon Tours, said in a statement.

“We’re excited to offer the first public fulfillment center tour in the Puget Sound region so we can show our local customers and neighbors a behind-the-scenes look at how we’re delivering for our customers,” Boone-Lutz continued.

At the Arlington warehouse, employees work alongside robots, the company said. The inside of the facility is a maze of tracks, chutes and robots.

An Amazon worker packages a lawnmower cover while processing orders at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

An Amazon worker packages a lawnmower cover while processing orders at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Opened in 2023, the five-story facility is Amazon’s largest fulfillment center in Washington and cost $355 million to build. Fulfillment centers are where products are stored, packed and shipped out. A typical warehouse stocks about 4 million products for sale on Amazon.com.

Amazon currently offers tours of more than 25 of its North American facilities, including locations in Spokane and Nampa, Idaho. The retailer began offering public facility tours about 10 years ago.

“I’m always amazed when I visit one of our (fulfillment centers), and I hope you’ll arrange a tour. I think you’ll be impressed,” former CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in a 2014 letter to shareholders.

Amazon stepped up the number of in-person tours last year.

Amazon joins The Boeing Co. in offering walk-throughs of its Snohomish County site. The Arlington, Virginia-based airplane maker has been offering tours of the colossal Everett aircraft assembly plant since 1968.

Arlington’s Amazon warehouse is located at 4620 172nd St. NE. Each walking tour covers about one mile and takes 45 to 60 minutes.

To register for the Arlington tour or learn more go to: amazontours.com/na/onsite/PAE2

Can’t make the walking tour? The company also offers short video tours of some facilities at amazontours.com/na/video

Amazon plans to further expand its Snohomish County presence with the opening this month of a new Everett facility to support the company’s broadband satellite network, Project Kuiper.

The 184,000-square-foot logistics center is located northeast of Paine Field, near Glenwood Avenue and Sievers Duecy Boulevard — and another Amazon property. The center is expected to employ 200 people, the company said.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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