Amazon to build new air cargo hub

Posted on 5 Feb 2017 by Michael Cruickshank

US e-commerce and web services company Amazon has announced plans this week to build a new hub for aerial cargo deliveries.

Amazon will invest significant capital into expanding the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) in Hebron, US, so it can be used as a hub for Prime Air cargo flights.

The increasingly diversified company is looking to use the new hub to support its expansion into air freight .

Last year the company agreed to lease 40 cargo aircraft for its growing Prime Air fleet, with 16 of those jets reportedly already in service.

According to Amazon, the CVG airport hub will facilitate the loading, unloading, and sorting of packages.

The Cincinnati hub being built by Amazon is expected to cost the company in excess of $1.5bn, and when complete will employ around 2000 new staff.

Amazon chose the location in Kentucky as due to its proximity to existing Amazon fulfillment centers.

“As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralized location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfillment locations,” said Dave Clark, an Amazon senior vice president.

The Kentucky state government also applauded Amazon’s decision, spruiking the economic benefits of the new hub.

“Amazon’s Prime Air hub promises to revolutionize the fulfillment industry worldwide, and Kentucky is excited to partner with them as they embark on this disruptive, transformative and exciting venture,” said Kentucky Gov. Bevin.

Currently, Amazon has provided no information on when the CVG hub will begin operations.

Amazon moves into freight

The construction of this hub is just one part of Amazon’s plans to expand its services as a provider of freight.

Right now, when a parcel is ordered from its site, it is transported by a 3rd party. Amazon hopes to eventually take over this role and in doing so reduce costs for its customers.

Amazon’s ambitious however go far beyond large freight aircraft, and the company is already testing the use of drones for delivery in urban areas.