NORTH VENICE — They call it a Last Mile Distribution Center in Amazon parlance.

It’s the last stop between a fulfillment center and your house.

One is coming to Venice.

It’s part of Amazon’s industry warehouse and distribution strategy to keep pace with fast-paced shipping.

In the past, private business offered much of the service, with Amazon creating standards for them to follow. The business model they created for others has been more successful than they ever imagined.

So much so, they recently announced they want to claw back a large share of that business, mostly by creating Amazon Prime.

The Last Mile Distribution Center is key. It’s a place where small quantities of product that fly off the shelf, so to speak, remain on hand for instant deliveries.

It’s the final stop before the package is placed on your doorstep.

Goods are created somewhere; packaged elsewhere to Amazon’s specifications to avoid damage and returns, transported to massive fulfillment centers, then transported to regional hubs.

The airport in Lakeland is the hub for Florida.

After that, they are sent to large million-square foot distribution centers. There are about seven in Florida around cities like Pensacola; Jacksonville has three; Miami; Orlando and Tampa.

From there, they are sent to smaller — about 100,000 square foot Last Mile Distribution Centers like the one being built in Venice.

Last Mile centers are typically near an airport and always on a major transportation artery — like Interstate 75, Sarasota-Bradenton International and Punta Gorda Airport.

According to Amazon, the final delivery destination is typically a personal residence. The focus of last mile logistics is to deliver items to the end user as fast as possible.

Permitting for the Venice Last Mile Distribution Center has been underway for several months. No less than 15 permits and reviews were conducted. The last one, a building plan review, was scheduled to be completed on Jan. 18.

Amazon is being tight lipped about when the center will open.

Ground is being cleared for a 120,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center along Commerce Drive near Interstate 75 and Jacaranda Boulevard.

Local officials have already welcomes the news, with its $15 per hour jobs.

“I am thrilled to hear Amazon has invested in our community,” Sarasota County Commissioner Mike Moran said last week.

“It’s a good opportunity to create jobs in the area,” Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod said.

Sarasota County Economic Development interim Director Dave Bullock is excited about the development.

“What a great idea,” he said. “New jobs, a new facility; better services to our residents who use those services ... I think it’s great.”

But there’s still some trepidation. In a traffic conscious city, there’s some concern traffic will snarl even more with hundreds more Amazon Prime vans darting around.


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