Amazon said on Monday that it has opened three logistics centers in Brazil to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to boost e-commerce in South America’s largest economy.

The new plant is already operating in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, as well as the capital of Brasilia. They increased the number of Amazon logistics centers in Brazil to eight, thus expanding their service coverage to all corners of this vast country.

Amazon said in a statement that the expansion will add 75,000 square meters (807,000 square feet) of distribution space, which is Amazon’s largest expansion since it began operations in Brazil in 2012. It will create 1,500 direct jobs.

Alex Szapiro, Amazon’s CEO in Brazil, said that the new service center will allow the company to immediately change the number of cities where Amazon Prime customers can receive delivery within two working days from 400. Increased to more than 500.

Szapiro told Reuters: “Brazil is the country with the fastest growth in Amazon Prime subscriptions,” he mentioned the company’s loyalty program, which was launched in Brazil last September.

In recent months, tens of thousands of Brazilian companies have migrated to e-commerce platforms due to social distancing measures and blockade measures.

Despite the gradual relaxation of measures, the migration to digital sales continues.

Last week, MercadoLibre, the leader of e-commerce in Latin America, announced that in local currencies, the region’s third-quarter net income soared by nearly 150%.

MercadoLibre’s business in Brazil (which accounts for more than half of its total business) has more than doubled its business.

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Other companies in Brazil, including Via Varejo, GPA and Magazine Luiza, are acquiring logistics startups in response to the same e-commerce wave.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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