Are you an Amazon fan? Does your front door seem naked if it’s missing one of those iconic brown packages? If you love everything about the famous smile logo and enjoy learning how things are ordered, processed, packaged and shipped, you should go on the Amazon tour! It’s a FREE 60-minute interactive, guided walking tour at the Amazon Fulfillment Center right here in Chattanooga – known as CHA1! My family had a great time on our CHA1 Amazon tour. It’s a lot fun, super interesting and makes something that is known as worldwide feel a little bit local.
As we walked into the warehouse, the size of the facility and the height of the ceiling dwarfed me. It’s hard to imagine the enormity of the space. It took my family a minute to adjust to how expansive it is. But as your friendly, CMB contributor, I’m going to help you grasp the concept with a fun visual. Do you remember the factory door scene in Monster’s Inc.? Can you visualize the conveyor belts and hanging doors moving from one area of the warehouse to the other?It’s the same…(sort of.)
“Skip” was our tour guide. He told Dad jokes, but don’t hold that against him. He covered all the safety tips, made sure our group of about 20 had tied back long hair and that we were all wearing appropriate footwear. Amazon CHA1 provided headsets so that our guide was audible while walking through the warehouse. It’s a noisy environment. Skip made the experience entertaining and interactive by asking trivia questions that most wouldn’t know unless you worked there. It was fun to guess and then learn the surprising answers. Here are a few examples:
- How many employees work at the CHA1 Fulfillment Center and what games do they play when they’re on break?
- What was the first item ever shipped from Chattanooga?
- So far, what’s the fastest time of delivery on record between receiving an order and delivering it?
- How many miles of conveyor belts wrap and loop around CHA1?
- How much of the packaging is recycled?
One interesting note: On vacation, our family experienced the Amelia Island Boat Tour and our guide explained that Amelia’s paper factory has been asked to increase its production of corrugated cardboard packaging by 30% because of one customer. The paper plant has already promised and sold product that they haven’t even produced yet. Any guesses who the customer is? (Pssst. It’s Amazon.) Amazon’s growth helps them partner with other companies, too. Have you heard about their connections with Kohl’s? Now, you can return your Amazon items at Kohl’s. They will pack and ship for free!
Ready to go on the tour? Signing up is easy!
All Amazon Fulfillment Center Tours must be scheduled online. You can schedule your FREE tour by clicking here and selecting a time from the available slots on the calendar. It’s easy to find, located on 7200 Discovery Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37416. Parking is a breeze and you can’t miss the brightly colored spots designated for tour groups. Most every question is answered on the link, but if you need more info, call 423-417-2215.
Before you go:
Chattanooga’s CHA1 Amazon Fulfillment center tour is FREE but limited space is available for each tour.
Tour is for ages 6 and up.
Wear close-toe, comfortable walking shoes. The guides will check that you have appropriate footwear so avoid sandals, flip-flops and heels.
There are stairs, but if you have mobility issues, one of the guides will redirect you to other avenues.
Bring photo ID. You’ll be asked to leave all other personal items like keys, purses, bags, etc.
Photography and phone camera use is very limited. There are only certain places on the tour that are designated areas for photo ops.
It’s a loud, mechanical and moving parts environment. Even though the tour guides provide headphones which offer some hearing protection, if an individual has sensitivity issues, the noise level may be uncomfortable for some.