Amazon unveils cargo plane as it expands delivery network

SEATTLE: Seattle-based Amazon is unveiling its first branded cargo plane at the annual Seafair Air Show, one of 40 jetliners that will make up Amazon’s own air transportation network.


It’s Amazon’s latest push to speed delivery of products to millions of its online shoppers drawn to fast, no-extra-cost delivery.

The e-commerce giant is taking more control of its delivery process as it ships an increasing number of packages worldwide.

Amazon’s parcel volume was an estimated 1 billion packages in 2015 — the same number that FedEx delivered three years earlier for hundreds of thousands of customers. Amazon has leased 40 Boeing jets from Atlas Air and Air Transportation Services Group, which will operate the air cargo network.

Amazon claims that its planes and trucking trailers are meant to ease movement of goods between Amazon’s warehouses, rather than delivering orders to customers directly. Hence, its initiatives are meant to bolster business with UPS and FedEx rather than compete with them.

However, some analysts wonder if Amazon’s advances in the transportation sector are not part of a bigger objective with ambitious plans to bring the delivery process under its own control. Amazon may be a major customer for both UPS and FedEx, but neither of the companies have shown any sign of alarm, reported the Washington Post.

Eleven of the planes, without the Amazon branding, are already delivering packages for Amazon’s Prime customers with the remaining planes to be rolled out in the next couple of years.