An inside look at Amazon Prime Air fleet

By Chris Dawson July 18, 2018 - 10:37 am

Amazon Prime day doubtless put a strain on Amazon Logistics and third party carriers as they rushed to deliver customer’s purchases around the world, but what’s not often realised is that Amazon have a whole fleet of Prime Air planes at their disposal to assist.

Amazon Prime Air Unit Load DeviceLatest number put Amazon’s Prime Air fleet at 26 Boeing 767 planes with a further four on order and due to join the growing fleet. Each plane can carry an astronomical number of parcels – for instance you could fit 1,000,000 Echo Dot devices into a Prime Air 767.

Trailers arrive at the airport, each carrying perhaps 2,000 parcels which are unloaded and swiftly sorted and then repacked into Unit Load Devices – containers shaped to fit the plane’s hull with the minimum of wasted space. 30 of these containers are then loaded onto each plane ready for take off to the destination airport and onward shipment across the US to meet Amazon’s two-day delivery promise to their customers.

Amazon’s logistics operation is an amazing network of couriers, long distance hauliers, planes and soon drones, not to mention the millions of square feet of warehouse space that is growing at a rapid pace. It’s easy to place an order on Amazon and expect the delivery to be flawless and on time, but it’s a modern miracle that’s taken billions of dollars and years to build and the scary thing is that they’ve hardly got started.

Amazon’s ultimate aim is to be able to delivery within the hour or even within 30 minutes and, accepting that this won’t be possible for every product Amazon or their 2 million third party sellers supply, Amazon will continue to buy planes, recruit couriers and build drones and the network will grow, soon to the point where they start offering their logistics services to third parties and start carrying purchases not even sold on Amazon.

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