Inside look at Chicago area Amazon facility on Cyber Monday

As Cyber Monday comes to a close, FOX 32 got an inside look at how the nation’s largest online retailer is handling their busiest day.

Amazon General Manager Lamonte Heyward visited some of the more than 3,200 employees working long hours on Monday at the company’s new distribution center off Harlem Avenue in Matteson.

They're working 10 to 12-hour shifts, trying to keep up with the demands of Cyber Monday.

"Today, we’re probably going to move through here close to 500,000 units, which will be a building record for us," Heyward said.

The size of the warehouse, which opened in 2021, is staggering. 

There is 4.2 million square feet of floor space spread over five stories. That’s enough space to comfortably fit 32 football fields.

The site can hold up to 57 million units of total inventory, and it’s a combination of robotics and human labor that picks, sorts and delivers each of those items to your home.

We watched as robotic pods moved storage units carrying a diverse array of products into a picking station. 

A computer then shines a spotlight on the compartment holding the item that needs to be retrieved. 

"And then [the computer] tells her which bin to put it in," Heyward explains. "As soon as she puts it in that bin, she touches the button confirming its one item. Then that pod face moves away, and the next pod presents itself."


Those bins are then sent down to another level on a conveyor belt where they’re packaged into boxes or bags. 

The packages are then sorted and delivered to 167 docking stations, where they’re loaded into trucks. 

"Today is really about when you order something from Amazon how fast can we get it to you and meet our customer promise," Heyward said. "So when you hit submit, and we tell you you’re going to get that item tomorrow by 6 p.m., then we measure our success by getting you that item by 6 p.m. tomorrow."

About 650 temporary employees were hired for the holidays at the Matteson location with starting pay averaging about $18 an hour.