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Today’s Pickup: Amazon breaks ground on Kentucky air hub; where will the next Uber will come from?

Good day,

The much-hyped Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) air hub in northern Kentucky is finally moving forward following a formal groundbreaking at the site at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky on May 14, 2019.

The hub will add more than 2,000 jobs to the area and contribute over $1 billion in economic impact, the company said. The hub will include its own ramp tower, onsite facilities for sortation and ultimately, space for up to 100 Prime Air aircraft.

“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.”

Amazon has 14 fulfillment and sortation centers in Kentucky, a customer service center and two Whole Foods Market stores.

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is thrilled to celebrate this historic day, as Amazon officially breaks ground on its $1 billion-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.”

Did you know?

Class 8 used-truck volumes fell 5 percent month-over-month in April and are down 16 percent year-to-date, according to preliminary data compiled by ACT Research.

Quotable:

“Today’s announcement demonstrates Werner’s commitment to returning capital and creating value for our shareholders through our long history of dividends and stock repurchases. Our strong balance sheet and new financing arrangements provide flexibility to allow us to continue to reinvest in our business and return capital to further drive shareholder value.”

-Derek J. Leathers, Werner’s president and CEO, announcing a special $3.75 per common share cash dividend

In other news:

The next Uber will come from trucking, report says

A report from CNBC is predicting that the next Uber will come from the global shipping industry, noting Convoy and Flexport as two possibilities. (CNBC)

Minnesota carrier joins program to sign up high school students for CDLs

Duininck can’t find enough drivers to fill its ranks, so it is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Labor, a local college and a high school to start training the next generation. (West Central Tribune)

Small Tennessee airport becomes big mover of freight

McGhee Tyson Airport moved 2.2 million passengers in 2018, but it is becoming a vital link for UPS (NYSE: UPS) and FedEx (NYSE: FDX), which transported 82.9 million pounds of air cargo and mail through the Blount County, Tennessee airport last year. (10News)

Goods-based sector pulls down trucking, rail shipments

Shipments on trucks and along the rails are dropping as freight shipment volume across all modes fell in April for the fifth straight month. (Wolf Street)

Washington port seeks land for expansion

The Port of Everett, Washington, is asking the state to seize an old Kimberly-Clark mill site so that it can expand operations, but it has competition. (HeraldNet)

Final Thoughts

CNBC published a story this morning that highlighted its Disruptor 50; 50 companies poised to disrupt traditional industries. Accompanying the list is an article that suggests the next Uber will come from the trucking and shipping spaces, and it notes Convoy and Flexport as the two most likely to do that. It’s no wonder that CNBC is looking toward the freight space for the next big thing, with more than $1.6 billion having been invested in the space in just the first quarter of this year. Clearly, investors are on the FreightTech bandwagon, and now the mainstream media is as well.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

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