OPERATIONS

Amazon primes for one-day delivery with planned new air hub

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon is strengthening its air freight capabilities in the wake of its one-day delivery announcement.

The e-tail giant has broken ground for a new air hub located in Hebron, Kentucky at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The hub will open in 2021.

Amazon has been operating in Kentucky since 1999, when it opened two fulfillment centers. Today, there are 14 Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers, one customer service center, and two Whole Foods Market stores in Kentucky. Amazon says it has invested more than $8 billion in the state and created more than 12,500 full-time jobs.

“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 is adding to its capacity for its Prime Air aerial delivery service as it prepares to make good on a promise to shift the standard shipping time for free Amazon Prime deliveries from two days to one day. During its most recent earnings call on April 25, Amazon announced it will spend $800 million to support faster free Prime shipping. The e-tailer did not offer a specific timeline.

Likely adding to the urgency of Amazon’s efforts to boost its Prime shipping infrastructure is Walmart’s new pilot of free next-day delivery for purchases of $35 or more across a range of general merchandise from Walmart.com. Walmart plans to reach approximately 75% of the U.S. population with this free shipping offer by the end of the year.

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