E-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly launched a direct freighter service from the U.S. to Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Xinhua news agency reported. Industry experts, however, point out that the U.S. e-tailer has so far not made an official announcement about the new service and suggest that these services could actually be part of a freight forwarding offering, rather than Amazon actually operating its own Prime Air freighters into China.
The Xinhua report said that freighters were carrying goods, including food, clothes and household appliances ordered on-line by Chinese buyers, from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to the
Chinese transportation hub at Xinzheng International Airport.
The airport in Zhengzhou handled 275,000 tonnes of throughput cargo in 2016, up 21% year on year. This included imported fruit, aquatic products, meat and live Australian cattle.
Amazon’s second approach to get a foot in the Chinese door
An April 5 report in the Financial Times said that Amazon first entered China more than a decade ago, but largely missed out on the booming e-commerce market as it was overtaken by homegrown champions such as Alibaba and JD.com.
This time, however, the company may have found a way back in. “They (Amazon) feel that with the volume of goods they control, they can actually move the goods more efficiently than the others who are doing it,” John Manners-Bell, head of logistics consultancy Transport Intelligence, was quoted as saying by the FT.
The company’s expansion in China follows other logistics investments in the U.S., where Amazon has set up and leased its own air cargo fleet under the name Prime Air and purchased its own truck trailers.
The company also obtained a China shipping license last year.
Nol van Fenema