Amazon has its own air cargo network

Giant retailer Amazon now has its own air cargo delivery operation.

After running a secretive trial since last summer leasing five Boeing 767s from freight carrier Air Transport Services Group out of Wilmington, Ohio, Amazon has agreed to let ATSG run a dedicated air cargo network and expand the operation to 20 widebody cargo jets.

The move represents a big step-up in Amazon’s drive to provide quasi-immediate gratification to shoppers. By linking its fulfillment centers in major markets through a sizable fleet of cargo airplanes, it can speed up delivery and avoid being hostage to third-party logistics hiccups that are outside of its control, especially during the critical holiday season.