Amazon Air started operations at its new state-of-the-art 800,000 square foot air hub facility located at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
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Officially, the company announced the start today, but it had been using the new ramp at the airport since last Thursday.
“As operations started, we celebrated the arrival of the first of many of our Amazon branded aircraft onto our brand-new ramp. By the end of the year, this facility, which spans over 600 acres, will operate a dozen flights per day and process millions of packages every week.”Sarah Rhoads, Vice President of Amazon Global Air
The company broke ground on the $1.5 billion air hub in 2019 as it keeps expanding its air logistics division, which now includes over 40 regional Amazon Air facilities, over 75 Amazon-branded aircraft, and even a small European air network.
Amazon’s new U.S. primary air hub at CVG has the capacity to handle over 100 flights per day, although it will be shy of the number in the beginning.
As the company expands operations, the new facility will be supported by about 2,000 people and uses similar technology found in its fulfillment centers to sort and transport packages.
Amazon is not new to the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. The company has been sharing space since mid-2017 in a cooperative agreement with DHL, using ramp facilities and services at DHL’s Americas Hub during the day when DHL’s operations are minimal.
With the new facility, Amazon Air will no longer be limited to daytime operations to handle air cargo at CVG, expanding the flexibility of the centrally located Amazon Air hub.
“CVG is proud to be home to Amazon Air’s primary U.S. air cargo hub. We’ve worked hard to ensure our airport is a great place to do business, and we couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Amazon on the transformational impact this hub is having and will continue to have on our local economy well into the future, from job creation to innovation and increased connection to the country.”Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Candace McGraw
The Future of Amazon Air and Amazon Logistics
As Amazon continues to grow its logistics capacities, the company has been coy about how far it may expand its sprawling services.
Some analysts believe Amazon is building a logistics competitor to rival UPS and FedEx with the CVG Amazon Air being one key part of such a strategy. While there are indications that is the direction Amazon is heading in, the company to media questions regarding that possibility by saying it is focused on improving its own delivery experience.
Another interesting aspect of Amazon’s air logistics operation specifically is that two of the major “national” hubs (CVG in the U.S., and Leipzig, Germany in Europe) coincide with two of the three DHL Superhubs. The third DHL Superhub is in Hong Kong, but Amazon Air does not operate in the Asia Pacific region.
It could mean that one day DHL may transport packages between the Amazon hubs, potentially opening up more options for its Amazon FBA sellers to make it simpler and faster to reach customers internationally.
Regardless of Amazon’s intentions about its overall logistics operations, the Amazon Air network keeps growing at a rapid pace. Just a few days ago, the company entered into final negotiations with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to build 250,000 square feet air hub at the Newark Liberty Airport.
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