The Seattle Times reported that is negotiating to lease 20 Boeing 767 air cargo jets for its own air-delivery service, citing cargo industry executives.  amazon

The report cites an equity analyst as indicating that the highly influential online retailer is fed-up with third-party carriers being a bottleneck to growth.  According to the report, a senior aircraft leasing executive familiar with Amazon’s plans has indicated the online retailer has approached several cargo-aircraft lessors to line up the planes. Because Amazon does not possess an Air Operator’s Certificate to fly its own aircraft, it must initially turn to aircraft lessors to operate and fly cargo aircraft.

This report has since been amplified by

Amazon itself has declined to comment on any speculation.

Supply Chain Matters published our complete listing of 2016 Prediction for Industry and Global Supply Chains in mid-December.  In Prediction Nine we anticipated that either of the two dominate online retailers, Alibaba or Amazon, will play transportation industry disruptor in further expanding their own parcel logistics fulfillment and delivery capabilities.

No doubt, if these associated reports concerning Amazon’s direction turn out to accurate, it would indeed represent a major disruptive event in the growing online fulfillment sector. The Seattle Times report additionally cites one analyst as speculating that Amazon could go so far as to deliver for other companies, placing the online retailer in direct competition with FedEx and UPS. Other cited sources cite the current move as a shot across the bow to the two dominant parcel shippers.

A further interesting data point provided in this new report relates to the speculation of operation “Aerosmith” where airfreight lessor ATSG is operating four Boeing 767 air freight carriers for an unnamed customer.  The Time’s reporters did some research leading to the observation that the ATSG planes have flown a total of 219 flights between November 1st and December 17th, all to specific destinations that correlate to destination airports where Amazon fulfillment centers are located.

From our Supply Chain Matters lens, that is too much of a coincidence and likely is more proof of Amazon’s current actions.

In any case, the industry dynamics of B2C online fulfillment are about to dramatically change in 2016.

Bob Ferrari