Amazon reveals first CGI video of planned Kentucky air hub

Impression of Amazon's Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport air hub

Amazon yesterday broke ground on its new $1.5bn Air Hub located at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The facility will open in 2021 as part of the company’s drive to speed up delivery times for customers.

The 1,100 acre site centre will have parking spaces for as many as 100 freighters and will create 2,000 jobs.

Amazon is currently using Wilmington as a centre of operations for its air cargo network.

But the company has a much larger presence in Kentucky with 14 Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers and one customer service centre.

DHL, which also provides capacity to Amazon, uses the airport as its hub.

“Our new Amazon Air hub, opening in 2021, is part of our continued investment in Prime to ensure we have the capacity required for continued outstanding service for our customers,” said Sarah Rhoads, director, Amazon Air.

“We’re proud to call Kentucky home for our air hub, creating more than 2,000 jobs in this fantastic community.”

“The commonwealth of Kentucky is thrilled to celebrate this historic day, as Amazon officially breaks ground on its $1bn-plus Amazon Air Hub,” said Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin.

“This massive project at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will be revolutionary for the region’s workforce and for our state’s overall economy. We are grateful for Amazon’s long-term commitment to Kentucky, and we are proud to see this momentous new endeavor take flight.”

Work on the centre comes as the e-commerce giant continues to increase the size of its freighter fleet and ramp up its delivery promise to customers.

Amazon is upping the ante in the race to the consumer’s door with the announcement that it is slashing delivery times for its Prime customers from a standard two-day window to next day in the US.

On the fleet front, the online retail firm recently moved into the B737 sector with plans to add five of the aircraft to its existing fleet of 40 B767F aircraft.

It has also announced it will add a further 10 B767Fs through ATSG, while there are options for even more.

Speaking shortly after Amazon announced plans for the air hub in 2017, senior vice president and chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky explained the logic behind the move.

“What it does for us is it gives us a base for future growth,” Olsavsky said. “It’s all about supplementing our existing capacity − both our partners and ourselves − and essentially building capacity that can handle our top line growth and also the growth in Amazon Fulfilled Network units which as I just mentioned is even higher than our paid unit growth.

“It’s the same as some of the investments you saw in airplanes last year, our partnerships with companies that do air cargo.

“This is about supplying the needs of our customers and our sellers. We value the partnership with the external providers as well and I think we’re all dealing with the problem of having lots of incremental volume [growth] year over year.”

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