Amazon debuts cargo plane to speed-up delivery

05 Aug 2016


The first freighter jet to carry the Amazon brand is set to take to the skies in Seafair after flying from New York to Seattle in the middle of the night.

''It's hard for me not to be a little bit giddy, almost. This is the first time I've actually seen the plane in person,'' Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, said at a press preview that took place behind closed hangar doors at the Boeing Co's Seattle Delivery Center on Thursday.

The plane, with ''Amazon'' on its belly, ''Prime Air'' on its sides and the Amazon smile logo on its tail, would fly over Lake Washington during the Boeing Seafair Air Show at around 1:15 pm today, Saturday and Sunday.

Amazon plans to build a fleet of 40 planes for transporting cargo between Amazon's distribution centres for delivery to customers.

According to Clark, the planes would coordinate with Amazon's network of 4,000 branded truck trailers, the Uber-like Amazon Flex delivery system, as also the services provided by transportation partners such as UPS and FedEx.

''We're doing this because of customers, and on behalf of customers,'' Clark said.

According to commentators, the latest push to speed up delivery of its products comes as the  company shipped an increasing number of packages worldwide.

The company's parcel volume was an estimated at 1 billion packages in 2015 - the same number that FedEx delivered three years earlier for hundreds of thousands of customers.

Amazon had faced issues with the reliability of air freight services and in 2013 offered refunds to customers for late deliveries of their Christmas orders, after bad weather and a jump in online shopping caused delays for UPS and FedEx.

According to analysts owning an air fleet to ship products to online shoppers drawn to fast, no-extra-cost delivery made eminent sense for Amazon in view of the sheer volume of the merchandise it shipped.

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