Amazon Signs 50-Year Lease On Air Cargo Hub In Kentucky

Image courtesy of Amazon

Sure, Amazon keeps saying that it isn’t interested in carrying freight for other companies even as it leases planes and invests in one of the companies it leases from. Now the company has signed a lease on a space similar in size to the air hubs of FedEx and UPS.

The facility is located at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, less than 100 miles away from the 1,200-acre UPS Worldport in Louisville. That’s right near the massive Amazon fulfillment center in Hebron, KY, and the e-commerce behemoth has signed a 50-year lease on 900 acres of property from the airport. Amazon is investing $1.5 billion in the hub, which will receive $40 million in tax incentives from the state of Kentucky over ten years if Amazon meets job targets. The company says that it plans to hire 600 full-time employees to work at the hub, and 2,000 total.

Only 16 of the 40 Prime Air cargo jets that Amazon has leased are in service now, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky hub is meant to serve as their home once they’re all in the air. Amazon began its air operation at what used to be the DHL domestic hub at a decommissionedd Air Force base in Ohio, northeast of Cincinnati.

Amazon-watchers think that if the cargo operation succeeds, the company could go into the shipping and logistics business for other companies. Reuters notes that one stock analyst predicts that there might be a “$400 billion-plus market opportunity for Amazon in delivery, freight forwarding, and contract logistics” in the future.