Online retail behemoth Amazon.com Inc has agreed to lease 20 Boeing 767 freighter jets to build up and enhance its own delivery network.
Amazon will lease the planes from Air Transport Services Group Inc., sending shares in the lessor up the most in six years.
The agreement shows Amazon’s commitment to expanding its own logistics network to make deliveries faster and more efficient. The Seattle-based company wants to lessen its dependence on United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., which have sometimes run into delays during the busy holiday season.
“This is the first formal confirmation from Amazon that they are in fact pursing an air transportation network and more logistics services,” said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W Baird & Co. who rates the stock outperform. “We can dispense with all the speculation and actually look at something that’s real and happening.”
Amazon to lease Boeing aircraft to launch its own air cargo service: Amazon is leasing 20 767 aircraft built by… https://t.co/90klvG49dm
— STRT Wichita (@STRTWichita) March 9, 2016
“Since last summer, we have been working closely with Amazon to demonstrate that a dedicated, fully customized air cargo network can be a strong supplement to existing transportation and distribution resources,” said Joe Hete, President and CEO of the American aircraft leasing and air-cargo transportation company, in a statement. “We are excited to serve Amazon customers by providing additional air cargo capacity and logistics support to ensure great shipping speeds for customers.”
Amazon makes a huge statement…it wants to control their product delivery in-house:
— Kurt Marko (@krmarko) March 9, 2016
Amazon has also been testing drones for package delivery:
But the company’s moves suggest management is more ambitious than they’re letting on. In addition to enlisting jets, Amazon has also experimented with package-delivering drones. The retailer is reportedly in negotiations to buy a 100-percent stake of the No. 2 package delivery service in France, and is building a package-locker service in Europe.