The e-commerce giant said the Prime Air network is designed to support one and two-day package deliveries, especially for Prime members who pay an annual subscription for free two-day shipping.
Amazon One, one of 40 new planes that Amazon has agreed to lease through air cargo partners Atlas Air and ATSG.
Source: Business Wire
Amazon plans to unveil the first aircraft in its new air transportation network emblazoned with the Amazon logo and the “Prime Air” name on Friday in Seattle.
The Boeing 767-300, operated by all-cargo carrier Atlas Air, is one of 11 dedicated aircraft flying for the online retail and logistics giant. Amazon Fulfillment Services plans to increase its fleet to 40 aircraft over the next couple years under wet lease agreements with Atlas and Air Transport Services Group, which owns carrier ABX Air.
The Prime Air network is designed to support one and two-day package delivery, especially for Prime members who pay an annual subscription for free two-day shipping, Amazon officials said. Outside analysts see the move as either a way to supplement the capacity of express carriers UPS and FedEx, or as a way to put pressure on them to improve after recent performance problems during the holiday season.
“Adding capacity for Prime members by developing a dedicated air cargo network ensures there is enough available capacity to provide customers with great selection, low prices and incredible shipping speeds for years to come,” Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in a statement.
In the last year, Amazon has launched several initiatives to ensure great delivery speeds and supply chain capacity for its customers, including Amazon Flex, the company’s Uber-like mobile application that allows individuals to sign-up, be vetted and begin delivering for Amazon; a dedicated network of 4,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity; and the network of air cargo planes.
At the same time, the e-commerce giant continues to expand its network of warehouses to fulfill orders faster, especially in urban areas where some customers want to take advantage of same-day delivery service.
Amazon currently operates more than 125 fulfillment centers and over 20 highly automated sortation centers.