At this time of year, Campbellsville, KY, a location of one of the Amazon distribution centers, is flooded with RVers, as they come in droves to help the largest online retailer fill holiday orders. Called “Camperforce” by Amazon, this group of hundreds of campers keeps orders flowing at Christmastime through packing, sorting and collecting products.
These workers reside at campgrounds in Campbellsville as well as the other distribution cities of Coffeyville, Kansas and Fernley, Nevada during the three-month stint. For many, the Amazon gig is just one in an ongoing series of jobs that require the workers to move from campsite to campsite. The lifestyle attracts retirees and empty nesters along with some younger parents who prefer this nomadic routine over a traditional home-and-work existence.
Since 2010, Amazon has recruited campers to work at its distribution centers because they are located in modest-sized cities that don’t have an adequate workforce to deal with the avalanche of holiday orders. The need for more employees is tremendous, with customers purshassing more than 26 million items on its peak shopping day of November 26 in 2012.
This year the retailer has hired 70,000 full-time seasonal workers. They are eligible for health benefits and receive approximately 94 percent of the wages of Amazon’s regular employees.
While this migratory lifestyle is not for everyone, some people love it. A campground near the Kentucky distribution center affords a sweeping view of the scenic Green River Lake. Living amid beautiful surroundings makes some of the campers feel they are on vacation even though they are working.
Check our Access Camping website regularly for updates on the camping industry.