Amazon Is Readying Its Air Hub Fleet -- Tech Roundup

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"We feel strongly that with these qualities as a place to do business, our investments will support Amazon and customers well into the future". According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is investing $1.5 billion to build an air cargo hub to expand its transportation capabilities.

Seattle-based Amazon past year struck deals with Purchase, New York-based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Wilmington, Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group to wet lease 20 Boeing 767Fs from each company to create a dedicated air cargo network for its online retail operations. Amazon says it employs 6,000 people in OH, the state just across the border from the hub.

A new central location will help the company meet the needs of its Amazon Prime members. According to state officials, the plan would bring 2,700 full and part-time jobs to the Commonwealth to work at Amazon Prime Air hub.

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A Prime Air cargo plane.

The new hub will support its lease agreements for 40 dedicated cargo airplanes that, in turn, support its Prime delivery services.

The loss of 300 jobs is not as big a hit as the 2008 decision by DHL Express to close its USA parcel delivery hub in Wilmington.

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Amazon will build several facilities on almost 920 acres of land, including a 3 million-square-foot sorting facility and a 350,000 square-foot loading dock. For now, though, Amazon has continued to say it values its partnerships with its shipping partners and sees its expanding shipping infrastructure as a way of supplementing UPS, FedEx and the US Post Office.

Today's announcement was timed to coincide with the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority's preliminary approval for $40 million in tax incentives for the project. "Amazon's pick of CVG as a hub will likely create a stir as they will be in close proximity to DHL (at the same airport), FDX, and UPS hubs and all will have to compete to attract local talent for positions". Moreover, FedEx which has more than 900 acres of land for Memphis hub also comes to the light as a competitor.

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