Amazon to Open New $1.5B Air Cargo Hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport

HEBRON, KY. — Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) plans to build a centralized air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) in Hebron to support its fleet of Prime Air cargo planes. The Seattle-based company expects to create more than 2,000 new jobs at the new $1.5 billion facility.

“As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralized location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfillment locations and an excellent quality of living for employees,” says Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Last year, Amazon entered into agreements with Atlas Air Worldwide and Air Transport Services Inc. to lease 40 cargo airplanes to support members of its Prime program, which offers its members free two-day shipping.

Sixteen of those cargo planes are currently in service, and the e-commerce giant plans to roll out more planes over time. Amazon’s Prime Air hub at CVG will support Amazon’s fleet of Prime Air cargo planes by loading, unloading and sorting packages.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure CVG is a great place to do business, and we couldn’t be more pleased that Amazon recognized those efforts with plans to build a top-in-class air cargo hub at our airport,” says Candace McGraw, CEO of the CVG airport.

In addition to its cargo plane venture, Amazon has launched several initiatives to increase delivery speeds and supply chain efficiency. These include Amazon Flex, the company’s mobile application that trains and vets individuals to deliver for Amazon, as well as a network of 4,000 trailers to increase the company’s trucking capacity.

Amazon currently operates 149 fulfillment centers and over 20 sortation centers. In Kentucky alone, the company employs more than 10,000 people in full-time jobs across 11 fulfillment center locations.

“Amazon’s Prime Air hub promises to revolutionize the fulfillment industry worldwide, and Kentucky is excited to partner with them as they embark on this disruptive, transformative and exciting venture,” says Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

Amazon’s stock price closed on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at $832.35 per share, up from $552.10 per share this time last year, a 51 percent increase.

In 2016, CVG experienced its largest passenger growth since 2005. Total passenger traffic through CVG increased 7.1 percent over 2015, and local passengers increased 12.7 percent.

December 2016 was the strongest month for cargo traffic in CVG’s history with 81,500 tons handled. For the first time in its history, CVG experienced annual cargo tonnage of 818,000 (1.6 billion pounds) and has now experienced double digit year-over-year growth in cargo traffic for four of the last five years.

— John Nelson

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