Amazon’s Sarpy County facility is part of its plan to deliver your packages faster

As Amazon pushes to speed up its Prime delivery to one day, the company showed off a new cog in its system based in Sarpy County.

The site is officially called a “delivery station,” where thousands of Amazon packages are sorted into neighborhood bundles and then placed on hundreds of delivery vehicles going out daily.

Next-day delivery has started happening on some local deliveries, said Bernard de Guillebon, director of operations for Amazon Logistics.

The Amazon station southeast of Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highway 370 is the company’s first physical location in Nebraska. It serves the extended Omaha area in a roughly one-hour radius, de Guillebon said.

“It’s really where the need is,” he said. “We go where the need is.”

The Sarpy County station opened in October in part of a warehouse built in 2017 at 11650 S. 154th St., and Amazon Prime delivery vans have since become increasingly visible around Omaha.

During a Monday tour, Amazon officials explained the local staffing that helps get packages to the door. The station itself employs 230 people full time and part time. Beyond that, Amazon contracts with five independent businesses, with a sixth on the way, to handle deliveries, de Guillebon said.

Plus, Amazon pays other so-called “flex” contractors to deliver packages a few hours at a time, often from their own cars.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, speaking at Monday’s event, highlighted the job creation and the opportunity for more to come.

“We really are excited about this,” he said.

In April, Amazon announced that it would spend $800 million in the second quarter to shift toward free, one-day shipping for Prime members from the standard two-day shipping. Earlier this month, the company broke ground on a $1.5 billion air hub near Cincinnati.

At the Sarpy County station, packages have been forwarded from Amazon sorting and fulfillment centers in Minneapolis and Kansas City, said Caroline Ambrose, the local station manager.

As packages come in, workers tag the Amazon boxes and sort them into bundles lined on shelves throughout the facility.

One of the delivery partners is Clout Logistics, a local business started and run by Luper Akough of Omaha. Since October, he said, he has ramped up to running 25 vans with 52 employees in the business.

Akough said he has a passion for entrepreneurship and “that passion has made this opportunity with Amazon one of the best things that I’ve done.”

To highlight its new local connections, Amazon donated a van-load of goods to Lift Up Sarpy County, a local nonprofit working on flood recovery efforts. Among the items meant to help people affected by flooding are winter clothes, bedding and work gloves, said Georgie Scurfield, the organization’s executive director.