Amazon boosts delivery capabilities with expansion of Air network
Amazon has announced an expansion of its partnership with Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) by leasing an additional 10 aircraft to support Amazon’s growth of fast, free delivery service Prime Fast.
This marks the latest development of the Amazon Air network, the e-commerce company's delivery system meant to boost its vertical integration and reduce its reliance on shipping companies like UPS, FedEx and the USPS.
The 10 additional cargo planes, a fleet of Boeing 767-300s, will be operated by an ATSG airline, and will be integrated over the next two years.
The new planes bring Amazon's total air fleet up to 50, including the 40 Boeing 767 freighter aircrafts leased by the company at Amazon Air's launch in 2016, 20 of which were leased from ATSG.
According to the e-commerce giant, the air service uses "advanced algorithms and software" to "transport hundreds of thousands of packages per day." Currently, the air network operates at over 20 airports, allowing for two-day shipping in most areas of the U.S.
“By expanding the Amazon Air network through our partnership with ATSG we’re able to ensure we have the capacity to quickly and efficiently deliver packages to customers for years to come," said Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon.
Amazon is set to open a new Regional Air Hub next year at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas, in addition to opening a gateway operation in Wilmington, Ohio and an expanded operation in Rockford, Illinois in 2019. The company said it will open an Air Hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021.
In addition to speed, the e-commerce company's transition to the air comes at a time when professional delivery drivers are in record short supply. According to an NPR report from January, the current high demand for goods in a booming economy calls for about 900,000 new drivers, but according to DAT Solutions data, just one truck was available for every 12 loads needing to be shipped at the beginning of this year.
In addition to Amazon Air's jets, Amazon also operates drone-based air delivery through Prime Air.
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