The airline trade could also be reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, however Amazon‘s air cargo enterprise has rapidly accelerated in latest months.
Between May and July, Amazon added 9 planes to its Amazon Air fleet, “the most it has added over a three-month span since its inception,” mentioned the report issued Thursday by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.
“Amazon Air expanded rapidly during summer 2020, a period otherwise marked by sharp year-over-year declines in air-cargo traffic,” the report states.
Amazon’s air fleet, launched in 2016, is a important a part of its push to present one- and two-day supply. The firm nonetheless depends on exterior carriers for a major share of its deliveries, but it surely has gradually moved extra of its logistics operations in-house, permitting it to higher management prices and supply speeds. Analysts believe Amazon’s air fleet, mixed with its huge community of airplanes, truck trailers and vans, might in the future place it to rival UPS and FedEx.
The coronavirus pandemic has generated much more stress on Amazon to guarantee quick supply, because it noticed a surge in on-line orders from stuck-at-home buyers who turned to the corporate for important items and groceries, together with different merchandise like workplace provides and electronics.
While its fleet has grown since May, Amazon Air nonetheless stays smaller than its rivals, together with FedEx, which operates 463 planes, UPS’ fleet of 275 planes and DHL’s 77 planes, DePaul researchers said in a separate report revealed in May.
Amazon’s $1.5 billion air hub in Northern Kentucky might assist give it an edge, the report mentioned. The hub, scheduled to open in 2021, is designed to have capability for 100 Amazon-branded planes and deal with an estimated 200 flights per day.
“The massive investment being made in a large hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, however, could change everything,” the report mentioned. “This hub appears to be the lynchpin to Amazon’s efforts to develop a comprehensive array of domestic delivery services across the United States.”