Amazon seeks to expand aircraft fleet

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
22 October 2021

Amazon is seeking to expand its fleet of aircraft as part of efforts to overcome supply chain disruption caused by blocked ports, according to reports.

The retail giant is said to be in the market for 10 refurbished Airbus A330-300 aircraft and a number of used Boeing 777-300ER cargo planes, according to Bloomberg.

The planes, able to travel long distances, would allow Amazon to ship goods from China and other countries, bypassing port congestion.

In January Amazon bought 11 aircraft to boost its in-house air cargo capacity in order to meet US delivery needs.

At the time Amazon Air, the company’s air cargo arm, said it planned to have more than 85 aircraft by the end of 2022, of which around 74 would be leased.

In 2020 the company launched new regional air cargo operations at 11 international airports across the US, against the backdrop of plunging passenger jet use due to the pandemic. Traditionally half of air freight is carried on passenger planes.

Meanwhile, California’s governor has signed an executive order directing state agencies to identify land to store containers and priority freight routes to reduce congestion at ports.

The White House has announced 24-hour operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the entry points for 40% of containers arriving in the US – to clear backlogs.

Amazon has been approached for comment.

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