By Chase Hagl
Amazon Air Launches $1.5 Billion Cargo Hub
On Wednesday, Amazon began operations at its newest hub located at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The campus will serve as the main hub for the carrier’s network which consists of operations to over 40 scheduled destinations across the U.S.
As the carrier exclusively transports Amazon packages, the hub looks to accommodate the rapid growth of the Amazon Air fleet. The principal catalyst for this growth is Amazon’s continued success in the U.S. e-commerce market with its ever-growing customer base spanning the globe.
In order to accommodate the large amount of orders daily, a large fleet is certainly needed. The company currently operates 75 aircraft within its network and looks to increase this number by 10 through the end of 2022. Operations are contracted through Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Air Transport Services Group.
“Our new Amazon Air hub is part of our continued investment in Prime to ensure we have the capacity required for continued outstanding service for our customers,” stated Sarah Rhoads, Director of Amazon Air, in a press release. “We’re proud to call Kentucky home for our air hub, creating more than 2,000 jobs in this fantastic community.”
With plans for the extensive project beginning in 2017, the company broke ground two years ago in 2019. Estimated at $1.5 billion, the hub consists of an 800,000-square-foot sorting building that sits on 600 acres of the airport’s property.The campus consists of seven buildings, an extensive aircraft parking ramp area and a multi-story parking garage for company employees.
Amazon prides itself on its innovative technologies throughout its facilities which helps foster its commitment to fast delivery to customers. The sortation building is their newest innovation that will continue to drive customer satisfaction. The building utilizes many robotic technologies that help transport and sort packages throughout the facility and to aircraft, including robotic arms, conveyor belts and ergonomic workstations for employees.
The facility is designed to accommodate 100 of the company’s aircraft and has the capacity for 200 flights per day, showing the ambitions for the company’s growth in the near future.
With Amazon co-founding the Climate Pledge, the company takes it upon itself to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. With sustainability in mind, Amazon will install solar rooftop panels within the coming year. The solar panels will supply power to the electrical grid of the facility and the local community.
After breaking ground in 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin commented on the undertaking stating, “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.”
This project comes after Amazon Air’s expansion of its network to its first-ever regional air hub in Europe last November. The project included a 215,000 square-foot cargo facility located at Schkeuditz, Germany’s Leipzig/Halle Airport.
Both the efficiency and size of the new campus will help serve Amazon’s quick delivery promise and continue aiding in the growth of Amazon Air. This project certainly foreshadows the future for the company and the direction Amazon Air looks to go as Amazon tries to bring as much of its product in-house as possible.