Amazon's Prime Air cargo planes are flying nearly full, taking business away from FedEx and UPS, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports.
As it lands more orders, Amazon.com has started shipping some of them itself. This is one of forty jets leased by the world's largest online retailer. Reuters has learned by analyzing data and interviewing airport officials that Amazon's Prime Air cargo planes are flying nearly full, taking business away from FedEx and United Parcel Service. Amazon says it's leasing planes to speed up shipping and backstop its cargo partners during the holiday season. But that also enables it to dodge the extra fees UPS and FedEx charge for bulky boxes containing things like toilet paper. Retail analyst Mary Epner: SOUNDBITE: MARY EPNER, FOUNDER, MARY EPNER RETAIL ANALYSIS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Cargo air has been comprised by, or run rather, by two major companies. And my belief is that Amazon doesn't think that they have done as much as they can in the digital world to take themselves forward, and so they are going to do it for them." Amazon is cutting delivery times by flying without stopovers, flying later in the day, and flying to remote locations like Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Charles Everett is executive director of the airport there. SOUNDBITE: CHARLES EVERETT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEHIGH-NORTHAMPTON AIRPORT AUTHORITY, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Year-to-date, we have about 200 percent increase in cargo carried." Also carrying cargo for an even speedier delivery: Amazon's drones. Its first drone delivery in the UK this month was made just 13 minutes after the order was placed.