- Truck and trailer traffic at an Amazon delivery station near Boston is causing headaches for locals, The Information reports.
- One truck reportedly knocked over a fence and a tree at a cemetery, and another damaged a monument.
- Amazon paid for repairs, and is working with community leaders to address local concerns.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Amazon’s quest to offer one-hour delivery to nearly all households in the US is causing major headaches for a town near Boston, The Information’s Paris Martineau reported on Thursday.
Normally, the arrival of Amazon leads to local perks like new jobs in delivery and logistics, as well as better wages for workers at other companies nearby. But The Information’s report highlights how the surge of demand in recent years is straining or outweighing some of those benefits for locals in Milford, Massachusetts.
Back in 2016, the company converted an old humidifier factory in Milford into a “delivery station” to sort and dispatch packages for the Boston metro area, and expanded its operations to a second facility last year, according to the report.
But in March, one of the hundreds of trucks that serve the station knocked over a fence and a large tree at the town cemetery, and weeks later another Amazon truck damaged a grave monument, according to records and meetings viewed by The Information.
Local officials told The Information that Amazon-branded trucks were responsible for destroying a traffic light, a retaining wall, several fences, and a store’s sign. Amazon claimed it was not at fault for the cemetery damage, but hired contractors to repair the monument and fence and replace the tree, a town official told the publication.
The company previously said that because trucks and drivers are managed by independent contractors, it is not generally responsible for the damage or disturbances they cause. Even so, Amazon designed and paid for road signs instructing semi-trailers against driving down certain roads.
According to the town official, drivers have said that Amazon’s navigation app occasionally directs them to break traffic rules, including routing the semi-trailer through the cemetery.
Even when they are following laws, The Information’s report highlights that the trucks cause a significant disturbance in the previously quiet New England town. The publication observed 52 tractor-trailers at the Amazon facility between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., and measured sounds from the trucks above 85 decibels – similar to a lawn mower.
The Information also observed a holding area for hundreds of empty Amazon-branded delivery vans that also had a bank of portable toilets for drivers. Each morning, convoys of 50 to 100 vans depart the delivery center every half hour, jamming up traffic at surrounding intersections, according to the report.
“The safety of employees, drivers and communities we serve is our top priority,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Information. “When we enter a new community we work closely with local community leaders, business owners, and policymakers to address any concerns regarding the impact of our operations. We worked with the City of Milford throughout our expanded growth and look forward to the continued community partnership.”
An Amazon spokesperson was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Insider.
In its initial proposal to the town, Amazon said the delivery station would provide more than 300 well-paying jobs to the area, but one member of the town’s planning board told The Information the deal has been a “net negative” for the community.
For its part, Amazon is increasing its engagement with community leaders, organizing trash cleanups, and implementing new policies about traffic flow and noise. In April last year, the company organized a task force to address communities’ concerns as delivery operations expand across the US.