Amazon to expand into Air Cargo

The Seattle Times is reporting that Amazon is in discussion with Boeing to lease nearly two dozen Boeing 767 Cargo aircraft.

This move seems to be the result of Amazon wanting greater control over their logistics as they’ve experienced rather significant growth, and have seen logistics partners such as UPS have trouble keeping pace.

Rather interesting, is that Amazon has already had a trial underway, this, the article refers to as “the Wilmington trial”, where flights, operated by a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), flying from Wilmington, Ohio to Dallas, TX, Tampa FL, Ontario, CA, and Allentown, PA. For those that may not follow, Amazon in general places their Fulfillment Centers near major airports. In some cases, they have multiple Fulfillment Centers near a particular airport. Each Fulfillment Center generally utilizes the nearest major airport, and then a number. For example, PHL1 may be an Amazon Fulfillment Center near Philadelphia, PA. This trial saw somewhere in the realm of 219 flights of 767s from 1-Nov to 17-Dec.

The article states that the 767’s are preferred, and here’s why:

According to ABX, main decks of its 767s can accommodateup to 19 pallets, each measuring 88 by 125 inches at the base.

Unfortunately, 767’s aren’t all that prevalent, and apparently don’t have the significantly declining reselling cost like Delta’s Mr. Anderson reports the 777’s have. In fact, the article states:

Leasing newly built Boeing 767F jets runs $600,000 to $650,000 a month, according to industry experts.

Used converted freighter jets, which Amazon will likely have to launch the cargo business, cost about $300,000 to $325,000 per month to lease.

Overall thought, I think it is interesting that Amazon is considering the idea. It’s a logical approach, really, as they continue to vertically integrate. But, I guess the part that is leaving me with pause is, why they aren’t talking 747-8’s? I hear they may have a few extra, like, maybe this one?

Courtesy of Theaviationist

Courtesy of Theaviationist

Of course, if Amazon does get into the Air Cargo business, it could help during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? Will it be sustainable? I’m thinking it could make Amazon’s international network and push for selling overseas to be even more sustainable. I for one, cannot wait to see an Amazon liveried 767, or, better yet, 747-8.

What do you think? Is Amazon getting into the Air Cargo Business a good idea?

H/T: Hugo


2 thoughts on “Amazon to expand into Air Cargo

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