first_imgStay on target Amazon reportedly plans to introduce new automated packing machines in its warehouses, potentially replacing 1,300 human jobs nationwide.But before getting the pink slip, existing employees can quit and start their own business—delivering Amazon packages.The new machines, from Italian firm CMC Srl, pack “much faster” than mere mortals, according to Reuters. Dubbed CartonWrap, the assembly-line appliance cranks out as many as 700 boxes per hour—five times the rate of a flesh-and-blood packer.And they require only three operatives: one to load customer orders, one to stock cardboard and glue, one to fix occasional jams.Similar technology in a handful of warehouses already leaves the scanning and boxing of products up to a robot. Now, Amazon is considering installing two devices at 55 U.S. fulfillment centers, potentially putting some 1,320 people out of work.“We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times, and adding efficiency across our network,” an Amazon spokesman told Geek in an emailed statement. “We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.” The company, which could pay $1 million per machine (plus operational expenses), expects to recoup the costs in less than two years.Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations, tweeted on Monday that Amazon is testing tech “that makes packages smaller with less overall cardboard waste.”“For all this fear of lost jobs the [No. 1] issue for most of us is finding enough people to fill the jobs we have and the new ones we are creating,” he wrote in response to the Reuters article.CMC did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment.Coincidentally (or not), Amazon this week launched a program that encourages existing employees to quit and start their own business delivering—no joke—Amazon goods.The move, as the Associated Press pointed out, comes as the conglomerate aims to reduce its Prime shipping time from two days to one.Amazon will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs, provide blue vans with the Amazon smile logo, and pay three months’ worth of salary for those accepted into the program.The offer is open to most part-time and full-time employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders, the AP said. It does not, however, extend to affiliate company Whole Foods.More than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since the firm launched the Delivery Service Partner program last June.More on Boston Dynamics’ New Robot Can Stack Boxes Like a BossThis Humanoid Robot Could Replace Construction Workers11 Robots That Are Going to Steal Your Jobs, ManEditor’s note: This article was updated at 8:40 a.m. ET with comment from Amazon.center_img Amazon’s ‘Marvelous’ Gas Station Discount Causes Chaos in CaliforniaAmazon to Donate Unsold Products Instead of Trashing Them last_img read more