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Photos: Inside Amazon at Christmas

Dealing with 16 orders per second in the festive rush
By Nick Heath, Contributor
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1 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Dealing with 16 orders per second in the festive rush

As many businesses wind down and get ready for the Christmas party, web retail giant Amazon is going into overdrive.

During Amazon's busiest spell in the run-up to Christmas last year the retailer took 16 orders per second and it expects to dispatch millions of products worldwide during the festive period in 2009.

Here you can see operations ramping up as row upon row of orders are sorted at Amazon's distribution centre in Swansea Bay.

Photo credit: Amazon

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Staff at the Swansea depot pack up books, toys and electrical goods ready to be shipped out to customers.

At its peak in 2008 Amazon.co.uk shipped more than one million products in one 24-hour period, which represents about 535 tonnes of goods and means, on average, a delivery truck was leaving an Amazon.co.uk distribution centre once every five minutes and 24 seconds.

Photo credit: Amazon

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Boxes travel down a conveyor to be processed at the Swansea Bay facility before being shipped out.

The gifts topping Amazon's wishlist this Christmas are the novel The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, the album Crazy Love by Michael Bublé and the DVD Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Last year the highest spend on a single Christmas gift in the UK was £5,699 for a 2.04 carat diamond solitaire stud earring in 18ct solid white gold.

Photo credit: Amazon

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A worker at the Swansea Bay depot scans products before they are sent to customers.

In 2008 Amazon.co.uk delivered to more than 200 countries, including one shipment to Niue, a remote Polynesian island.

Photo credit: Amazon

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Boxes of products wait to be loaded onto delivery vehicles at Amazon's Marston Gate Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes.

Photo credit: Amazon

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Conveyors at the Milton Keynes distribution centre sort boxes of products before they are sent out to customers.

Photo credit: Amazon

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