New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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bnsfben
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New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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Amazon is building a large distribution center on the former fair ground site at 8 Mile and Woodward. Currently, a portion of the fairgrounds along the CN Holly Sub are being used for container yard operations at Moterm. One would think that Amazon’s supply chain experts selected this location for its literal proximity to an intermodal yard. Time will tell if intermodal traffic increases at Moterm to support Amazon, but I think this will have a significant increase in intermodal traffic. Amazon has been utilizing domestic intermodal services more and more. To my knowledge, this is the only Amazon DC immediately adjacent to an active intermodal yard in Michigan and Ohio. This could potentially become a rail/intermodal hub for Amazon.

Based on the layout of Moterm, Amazon could literally have their own dedicated ramp track (currently the “fence track” which starts immediately south of 8 Mile and runs down to Greendale St. The track is already in place, they would just need to build a concrete pad for the cranes.

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Massive Amazon Logistics Center on CN Holly Sub Announced

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New business for the Holly Sub and Moterm Container terminal? It was announced yesterday that Amazon will build a major logistics hub on the former Michigan State Fairgrounds site at Woodward and 8-Mile. The site would have the ability for direct access to the CN Moterm container site, and potentially direct rail access. The size is staggering: 3.8 million square feet, making it Amazon's largest, by far, and the 2nd largest warehouse in the entire United States after the Boeing factory in Everett, WA. This is different than a normal "Fulfillment Center" and is a major logistics hub, meaning containers in and out. Its expected to create 1,200 jobs and got zero tax incentives. in addition to the $9 million asking price, the development groups have also agreed to provide a new $7 million indoor transit center on the site under the terms of the proposed deal. The proposed Amazon distribution center will take up approximately half of the 142 acres in the southeast region of the site, while the transit center will be located further north, off of 8 Mile Road. This could be a potential game-changer traffic-wise.
Last edited by Cinderpath on Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

joeyuboats
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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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Amazon is getting to be like CVS----one on every corner. They are at the old Ford Plant at 23 and Shelby, !0 Mile and Dequindre/John R, soon to be 14 Mile and Mound, and now this---wow!

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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joeyuboats wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:36 am
Amazon is getting to be like CVS----one on every corner. They are at the old Ford Plant at 23 and Shelby, !0 Mile and Dequindre/John R, soon to be 14 Mile and Mound, and now this---wow!
. And this one is MUCH bigger than the others- the volume is staggering.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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bnsfben wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:18 pm
Amazon is building a large distribution center on the former fair ground site at 8 Mile and Woodward. Currently, a portion of the fairgrounds along the CN Holly Sub are being used for container yard operations at Moterm. One would think that Amazon’s supply chain experts selected this location for its literal proximity to an intermodal yard. Time will tell if intermodal traffic increases at Moterm to support Amazon, but I think this will have a significant increase in intermodal traffic. Amazon has been utilizing domestic intermodal services more and more. To my knowledge, this is the only Amazon DC immediately adjacent to an active intermodal yard in Michigan and Ohio. This could potentially become a rail/intermodal hub for Amazon.

Based on the layout of Moterm, Amazon could literally have their own dedicated ramp track (currently the “fence track” which starts immediately south of 8 Mile and runs down to Greendale St. The track is already in place, they would just need to build a concrete pad for the cranes.
What is different about this, is that it would be their largest in the entire US, and would be a hub to hub facility.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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I question the accuracy of the square footage of the proposed warehouse.
The number of workers reported to be hired is in line with the typical Amazon Fulfillment Center, which are much smaller.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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I don't know how many containers a place like this gets but is it enough to justify an intermodal train a day between Chicago and Detroit?
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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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Amazons local distribution model does not work well with trains.. as someone who drove for prime at one time between jobs (give it a meh outa 10), most things came in on planes, then went to trucks. The Romulus building was basically all directly off semi trailers, and not containers. That’s not to say that the trailers didn’t ride on a train at Some point, but generally the prime stuff that comes in 2 days or less is coming off a plane or is already in a local distribution center. The big stuff (more like freight) comes with UPS or FedEx. How the stuff that’s prime gets to the wearhouse or center before being ordered could he train, but in general I do not believe that much of what goes through those centers came off trains in the Detroit metro area.

Amazon has a habit of buying cheap or long unused plots for their sites. Just the other day I saw they might use the large anchor stores that have been left vacant in malls for fulfillment sites. Land next train train tracks is cheap, so that’s what my guess would be.
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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

Unread post by DaveO »

Now that an artist rendering of the building is available as well as a site rendering, it looks just like all of the other (big) Amazon Fulfillment Centers.
Those being slightly more that 1 million square feet.

The site rendering show no connection to Moterm other than being next to it.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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DaveO wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:19 am
...it looks just like all of the other (big) Amazon Fulfillment Centers.
Those being slightly more that 1 million square feet...
The media is reporting 3.8 million square feet and multiple stories, which you can't tell from the overhead rendering.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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Just heard on the radio that Amazon is looking for 12 million sq. feet in Chicago----must be beyond busy!!

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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joeyuboats wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:32 am
Just heard on the radio that Amazon is looking for 12 million sq. feet in Chicago----must be beyond busy!!
Once they lost the sales tax issue, they started to locate the Fulfillment Centers closer to the areas the merchandise is being sold.
That helps with the logistics costs somewhat but more importantly allows for same/next day deliveries.
That latter being severely impacted by Covid-19 issues.

But yes, while some is just relocating FC space, they still are growing.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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The one that just opened in GR has about 1 mil sq ft. and similar employment numbers. They chose a green field site without rail and rejected a brown field site with rail. If you watch the intermodals on the railcams in northern OH and IN, there are more Amazon containers on the trains lately. So they must be using rail somewhere.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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My guess would be that Amazon is using rail intermodal to stock their fulfillment centers with some items, wherein there is less time sensitivity. My hunch would be that they have a lot of suppliers or they themselves load containers in SoCal around the ports for destinations inland. That means that unless they're getting a lot of stuff, it is likely to be rubber-tired into Michigan from Chicagoland.
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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

Unread post by joeyuboats »

Please permit a question--- in the last post is a comment about containers being rubber-tired into Michigan. Why is that? We have 3 or 4 intermodal facilities right here-----why can't the containers be delivered to Detroit, and then trucked a short distance, instead of the 5 or 6 hour drive from Chicago? Never did understand that.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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Isn't this where 1223 was displayed before Grand Haven?
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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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joeyuboats wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:21 am
Please permit a question--- in the last post is a comment about containers being rubber-tired into Michigan. Why is that? We have 3 or 4 intermodal facilities right here-----why can't the containers be delivered to Detroit, and then trucked a short distance, instead of the 5 or 6 hour drive from Chicago? Never did understand that.
Trains are slower than trucks in some cases. My guess is, a trailer could move much faster from Chicago to Detroit by road than rail. And even faster when using Amazons PrimeAir contractors (almost all aspects of Amazon delivery not in the wearhouse are contracted employees, and not employed by Amazon).

If you had two trailers going from LA to DET, I would guess with ramp times, drive times, and all things considered, its likely faster to send the trailer to a ramp in Chicago and drive it to Detroit than interchange the trailer somehow and then get it to one of the few trains that take intermodal to Detroit directly. Lots more factors than the tracks are close, odds are the trailer would have to be interchanged in some way at Chicago (or another location), which just adds more time. Not to mention even in a best case senecio, its about 6-8 hours Chicago to Detroit by rail. (CP 140 did 2am-8:30am this morning Chicago to Oakwood Junction for example).

Amazon is not always the most efficient, when I drove for a contractor there were many instances where I delivered on top of another Amazon package, and even a couple times where I delivered to the same house at the SAME TIME as another driver delivering out of the same facility as myself.
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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

Unread post by DaveO »

Prime Air doesn't fly to Detroit.
Have received Prime Air packages that landed at Rockford IL, Covington KY and Wilmington OH.
Then trucked to the sort center in Brownstown MI.

1223 was on display at the State Fairgrounds.

Getting intermodal to west of Chicago is one thing, getting it around south of the lake is another.

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

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Thanks, guys for the answers and reasons!!

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Re: New Amazon DC at CN Moterm (State Fairground Site)

Unread post by trainjunkie47 »

Now, will CN start getting container traffic into Moterm from Quebec and Nova Scotia? These Panamax ships are sailing to east coast ports more and more now.

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