HONOLULU (KHON2) — Amazon is 65 percent complete with construction of a first of its kind delivery station project sitting on 14 acres of land at Sand Island. The project will become a reality and is expected to open in April 2024.
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“Packages will fly in, they’ll get trucked via our line of trucks to the facility in Sand Island roughly overnight and then at 10 o’clock in the morning you’ll start to see packages comes and go out of the facility going on different routes through Oahu,” said Stephen Maduli-Williams, Amazon Senior Economic Development Manager.
Amazon provided an update on its operations at the Retail Merchants of Hawaii’s annual membership meeting Wednesday. In 2021, Amazon bought a $125 million parcel on Sand Island then nearly 50 acres in Kapolei for $76 million.
Amazon Air is already operating out of Honolulu, Kona and Lihue and a new partnership with Hawaiian AIrlines is ramping up. Amazon will be looking for delivery truck drivers through partnering with entrepreneurs.
As far as what Hawaii consumers expect, Amazon said bulky items will not be available.
“We’re not able to carry the bulky items via plane so what you’ll probably see if a greater selection of what you’re already receiving and you most certainly should get them faster,” said Maduli-Williams.
The Retail Merchants of Hawaii hopes with Amazon coming to town, small local businesses will still be supported.
“Everyone is looking forward to them coming, but there is some anticipation though that they’re going to kill small business and local businesses,” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii President.
Amazon said, 60 percent of items sold on its platform come from small businesses. The company is calling it an opportunity for local retailers to expand.
“In Hawaii we have 1,200 sellers today and we feel like we have more work we can do here on the islands and we’re really looking forward to supporting the community more,” said Bobby Co, Amazon Marketplace.
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Amazon will hire up to 500 employees to work at its Sand Island facility. It’ll also need 250 delivery truck drivers. The company will host in-person hiring events soon.