Evolution of Shipping

After announcing Amazon Prime, free Two-Day Shipping for eligible purchases, Amazon followed up Air Prime, a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones.

The next logical step is for Amazon to cut out as many air delivery middlemen as it possibly can.

Thus, it cannot be much of a surprise to learn Amazon Starting its Own Air Cargo Operation.

Cargo Facts reported today [December 18] that Amazon is building its own cargo operation and is in talks with Boeing to acquire up to 20 767-freighter jets to help deliver packages to customers around the U.S.

The Seattle Times also reported about Amazon’s plans on Thursday, but noted that the company is looking to lease jets, not purchase them, because it does not have an Air Operator’s Certificate, among other reasons.

When asked for comment, Amazon.com provided this statement to GeekWire: “We have a longstanding practice of not commenting on rumors and speculation.”

An article last month [“A Mysterious Air Cargo Operation, Amazon.com?”] noted that a mysterious company, presumably Amazon, was flying four cargo flights per day out of Ohio’s Wilmington Air Park, which previously served as a facility for DHL until 2008.

The mystery company used four contracted Boeing 767s that fly to and from four U.S. airports – Allentown, Ontario (CA), Tampa, Oakland – that all have nearby Amazon distribution centers.

Having more control of the entire end-to-end customer experience would also help Amazon avoid issues it has had with third-party delivery companies like UPS during its busy holiday season.

Amazon Branded Trucks

On December 4, Amazon announced Branded Truck Trailers for Inventory Management.

for Amazon, the initiative is the latest sign of the e-commerce giant’s increasing interest in taking transportation of its merchandise into its own hands.

The company still relies on traditional mail to deliver most packages, but Amazon has been experimenting with its own methods, including bicycle couriers, Amazon Fresh delivery trucks, drones and an Uber-like crowdsourced delivery system.

The release notes the company has begun rolling out thousands of trailers to “increase capacity for package delivery from fulfillment centers to sort centers.”

In other words, the trailers won’t be delivering packages to customers’ doors.

Amazon Planes

Amazon Trucks

Amazon Drones

Mike “Mish” Shedlock