Scarcely a day goes by with a big infrastructure or logistics announcement from Amazon, whether here or in the US. Earlier in the week it was ships to expedite consignments from China and now they’re concentrating on air freight with news that they will be opening a $1.5bn cargo hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, USA.
This is all about servicing the Amazon beast. The scale of the retail business, especially in the US, is astonishing. One report suggests that a staggering 43% of US online sales in the USA were made via Amazon in 2016. But by a pain point for Amazon is shipping. Sometimes, it’s said, that Amazon is making a loss on carriage despite having working partnerships with more than 30 delivery companies there. By bringing more of the operations in-house the idea is to apply the Amazon rigour for efficiency and make it cheaper.
The Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin says of the news: “”Kentucky’s ideal location, proven workforce and an already extensive shipping and logistics industry have been the backbone of our relationship with Amazon for nearly 20 years. This new project will pay dividends to both the company and our state and we are truly grateful for the jobs and economic impact it will bring.”
It’s difficult not to admire the ambition of Amazon as it continuously grows its delivery network and fulfilment capabilities. They think big and invest significant sums to get it right and poor ongoing growth. This is just the latest step from the company in what is an astonishing journey.