Montana Gets Their First Amazon Warehouse

Mike Mareen /
Mike Mareen /

Missoula, MT, welcomed its first Amazon Warehouse on March 27th. The 71,000-square-foot monstrosity is strategically located near US Highway 93 and Interstate 90. This major thoroughfare makes it ideal for servicing Missoula, much of Montana, and East Idaho.

Gov. Greg Gianforte and Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier cut the ribbon, welcoming roughly 100 employees and independent contractors from numerous subcontractors. The warehouse moves 6,500 to 7,000 packages per day and has more than enough room to expand and meet rising demand. Servicing a 50-mile radius, it will run an average of three dozen loads per day.

Unlike the major warehouses many Americans are used to, this one is designed to transfer regional shipments from tractor-trailers to smaller trucks and vans for delivery. Floor workers will be pulling down $17 to $19.40 an hour, with limited higher-paying positions also being available.

For Montana officials, this was an easy decision to welcome Amazon. With the conglomerate not seeking out tax incentives the state had offered, they chose to make this a straightforward process for the state. According to Gov. Gianforte, they didn’t need to court Amazon like other companies.

By comparison, German manufacturer VACOM needed two years of recruitment and a slew of incentives to open its Lewiston, MT manufacturing center in 2023. The Montana Department of Commerce led the efforts to attract them and spared no expense in getting them to open shop.

While these kinds of warehouses can be operated in parking lots in other areas of the country, in Montana, workers need a place to get away from the oppressive cold and wind chills in the winter. A facility this large makes it reasonable to open and close bay doors for trucks and helps ensure loads stay safe and dry throughout transit.