Amazon has unveiled its first branded cargo plane, to bolster its supply chain capacity as it expands its one and two-day ‘Prime’ delivery service.
By creating its own US airfreight network, Amazon hopes to “ensure great delivery speeds for our Prime members for years to come”, said Dave Clark, senior VP of worldwide operations at Amazon.
The plane was revealed at the Boeing Seafair Air Show on 5 August, in Amazon’s home city of Seattle. It is one of 40 Boeing 767s the ecommerce giant has agreed to lease from its partner companies, Atlas Air and Air Transport Service Group (ATSG).
Amazon said its airfreight service is one of several initiatives to bolster its supply chain capacity.
“[For much of my time] our operations teams have been focused on our fulfilment centres and core supply chain processes, creating the capabilities required to enable... fast free shipping for Prime members. Now, we see the same opportunity to innovate in transportation,” said Clark.
The airfreight service shares the ‘Prime Air’ branding Amazon has given to the drone delivery service it is currently testing. Amazon envisions drones being used to cover the last few miles of its packages’ journey.
Amazon already users 11 dedicated freight aircraft under a lease agreement.
In March this year, air transport service provider ATSG announced it would be leasing 20 Boeing 676s to Amazon for a period of between five to seven years. ATSG also said Amazon would be acquiring up to 20% of its common shares throughout the period of the lease.
Shortly afterwards, in May, Atlas Air announced a similar lease arrangement with Amazon for another 20 aircraft.
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