For the growth of the U.S. e-trader, the sky's the limit and the company doesn’t seem to be coming back down anytime soon, save to cover more ground. This is shown by the opening of a new US$1.5 billion air hub, including its large sorting and distribution facilities erected at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The facility, spanning 800,000 square foot (244.000 m2), was inaugurated last Thursday (12AUG21).
2,000 New Jobs Despite Robot Use
Only recently, on July 27th, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos jetted off into space. Now that he’s back safe and sound he has turned to earthly things, inaugurating his company's gigantic new air hub in Cincinnati. “We’re investing $1.5 billion in our new air hub to get you your packages faster. And it’s going to create 2,000 jobs,” he tweeted to mark the occasion.
The complex is designed to have capacity for as many as 100 Amazon-branded freighter aircraft and handle air shipments transported on board an estimated 200 flights per day. The hub will help in accelerating Amazon’s push for faster delivery and greater control over its own logistics network. It includes a ramp for aircraft parking, a multilevel parking structure and seven different buildings. Amazon also included an 800,000-square-foot robotic sorting center, where packages are sorted by zip code and consolidated into trucks prior to their delivery.
Faster and Faster
The Cincinnati Air hub is a major milestone for Amazon Air, the e-tailer’s burgeoning air cargo arm, launched in 2016, whose routes are operated by and rely heavily on several contracted carriers. Across the company’s sprawling network of warehouses, trucks and delivery vans, freighter aircraft remain critical pieces of the supply chain, ensuring packages can be handed off quickly and timely to customers’ doorsteps all across the USA. It enables Amazon to supercharge its one-day, and increasingly popular same-day delivery, capabilities in more areas of the U.S.
Amazon Air’s fleet, both leased and owned, has grown at a breathtaking speed. Currently, it operates more than 75 aircraft in its self-controlled network, and the company expects to have more than 80 planes by this time next year and 85 at the end of 2022. Among Amazon Air’s capacity providers are household names such as Atlas Air, Cargojet of Canada, or the Air Transport Service Group, to name but a few. In 2020, leisure airline Sun Country provided passenger Boeing 737s for Amazon as an appreciated revenue source in C-19 times as a response to the dramatic drop in traveller demand.
Constant Fleet and Network Expansion
Nationwide, the company operates to more than 40 U.S. airports. Last November, it launched its European air hub at the Leipzig Airport in Germany, its first overseas, with warehouses and sorting facilities comprising 20,000 square meters.
Given the rapid growth of Amazon, including its air and ground capabilities, it can be expected that the opening of its Air Hub last Thursday (26AUG21) was not an event much appreciated by the likes of UPS or FedEx.
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