Amazon to build $1.5B air cargo hub in Kentucky

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Amazon to build $1.5B air cargo hub in Kentucky

02/01/2017

Amazon is inching closer to being a direct competitor to FedEx and UPS by announcing plans to build its first air cargo hub.

The Kentucky facility, which will be close to UPS's air cargo hub, is expected to cost Amazon over $1.5 billion in investment and will house its current and future fleet of planes. Amazon said it expects to create more than 2,000 new jobs when it builds the hub on 900 acres in Hebron, Ky., under a 50-year lease. Amazon currently employs more than 10,000 people in Kentucky in 11 warehouses.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the move signifies that Amazon is ramping up its expansion into transporting, sorting and delivering its own packages.

“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, and an excellent quality of living for employees. We feel strongly that with these qualities as a place to do business, our investments will support Amazon and customers well into the future,” said Dave Clark, Amazon SVP of Worldwide Operations. “We couldn’t be more excited to add 2,000-plus Amazon employees to join the more than 10,000 who work with us today across our robust operations in Kentucky.”

Last year, Amazon entered into agreements with two carriers to lease 40 dedicated cargo airplanes to support Prime members with fast, free shipping. Today, 16 of those planes are in service for Amazon customers with more planes rolling out over time. Amazon’s Prime Air hub in Kentucky will support Amazon’s dedicated fleet of Prime Air cargo planes by loading, unloading and sorting packages.

Amazon has launched several initiatives to improve delivery speeds and supply chain capacity for its customers, including Amazon Flex, the company’s mobile application that allows individuals to sign-up, be vetted and begin delivering for Amazon, a dedicated network of 4,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity and a network of air cargo planes. These efforts join Amazon’s worldwide network of 149 fulfillment centers and over 20 sortation centers where the company uses algorithms, robotics, machine learning and other technological innovations to increase delivery speeds for customers.