Growing Amazon Air operation supports expansion of next-day deliveries

As the Amazon Air fleet grows, deliveries to Prime customers are getting faster.

Amazon announced this week that it will be expanding the number of items included in its free one-day shipping program for Prime members in the United States to 10 million SKUs.

In recent years, the e-tailer has invested heavily in its Prime delivery program, and delivery speed has increased as a result. The scale of Amazon’s one-day service is already ten-times larger than the size of its original two-day service, which launched in 2005 with one million products, according to Amazon. 

Coast-to-coast next-day delivery is made possible not only by effective planning and forward-stocking, but also thanks to Amazon’s growing logistics network, and the Amazon Air network in particular, which this year began adding 737 freighters. An Amazon spokesperson told Air Cargo World that the company’s ability to expand the one-day service, “is possible because we’ve been building our network for over 20 years.” Amazon has already put more than 40 aircraft in the sky since it kicked off its air network in 2016. The company first hinted at the roll-out of one-day service in April, when it announced that it would invest $800 million into next-day delivery. 

Looking ahead, the Amazon Air operation is poised for continued growth. The new policy comes two weeks after city officials in Lakeland, Fla. approved a proposal between Amazon and Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL), in which Amazon will put $100 million toward constructing a 225,000 square-foot air cargo facility and a seven-jet cargo hangar at the airport.

The airport is one of 20 Amazon air gateways across the U.S. that assist transportation between the company’s 110 fulfillment centers, 40 package sortation centers and 100 delivery stations.

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