“Everything that uses a computer is down”


An Amazon driver carrying packages.Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

  • The AWS outage crippled some Amazon warehouses and deliveries, workers sold Insider.

  • “All we can do is wait,” a warehouse worker told Insider. “Everything that uses a computer is down.”

  • Amazon DSP drivers said the outage interrupted some deliveries and left vans idling on the side of the road.

A widespread blackout on Tuesday interrupted ground operations in some Amazon warehouses and parcel deliveries blocked, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Amazon Web Services outage began around 10 a.m. ET, according to DownDetector. At a warehouse in the Pacific Northwest, the blackout destroyed “everything that uses a computer,” leaving employees “bored,” an Amazon employee told Insider.

“All we can do is wait,” they added.

Amazon acknowledged the issues around noon ET and said it was working to resolve them. “We performed mitigation which shows significant recovery”, Amazon released an update at 5:04 p.m. ET Tuesday. “We still don’t have an ETA for a full recovery at this time,” he added.

The outage also caused the company’s routing software to crash in some places, according to a West Coast Delivery Service Partner (DSP) – a small delivery company contracted by Amazon.

Many East Coast delivery drivers likely loaded their vans and started their routes before the outage, but then had to pull over to the side of the road when the software crashed around noon ET, the partner said. Delivery.

Not all delivery drivers were affected. An Amazon delivery driver in Brooklyn told Insider his day was going business as usual – although he expressed that he wished his routing software had been shut down to give him a break.

On the west coast, most vans were not yet loaded when the system broke. Without routing software to dictate which packages go in which van, some drivers waited in parking lots unable to start deliveries just 18 days before Christmas.

A DSP pilot typically processes between 200-250 packages per day in 100-150 stops, but by December those numbers skyrocket to over 300 packages. Routes of more than 700 packages, delivered to 300 different stops, are a legend among DSPs. Drivers can work 10 hours a day to make all deliveries, not including loading vans, the delivery partner said.

Scrapping an entire day of deliveries would create an epic traffic jam. Amazon is not leaving room in the vans to make up for the remaining delivery volume, the partner told Insider.

With free time, workers go to online forums to discuss the outage

Discussions about the impact of server issues on Amazon’s logistics empire quickly spread online, with Amazon employees reacting to the outage in real time on several Reddit forums.

Warehouse workers noted they experience blackouts in Dallas, Charlotte, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Chicago, Phoenix, Michigan, Jacksonville and Ontario, Vice motherboard first reported.

Amazon warehouse

The interior of an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, December 2, 2019.REUTERS / Lucas Jackson / File photo

“My DSP has 20 drivers sitting in the parking lot, in the cold” a user wrote. “I’m just waiting. Our warehouse can’t scan or bag, so we have to wait for them to even do this part. Like bruh, let’s go home, before we all get pneumonia and really can’t drive. “

Several users online said the outage led to impromptu karaoke sessions at Amazon warehouses. Others expressed gratitude for what they called “the easy money” as the work stopped for the day.

“DOM2 makes people sit in the parking lot and wait, hoping to be resolved”, a user posted on Reddit. “I was a replacement so didn’t get a route today, but see people loading over 350 packages into vans just to sit and wait, and the owner will be the last to cancel it … so happy I didn’t work today. My pals are literally like reading in their vans or surfing their phones to get paid. “

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