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Amazon Expanding Shipping Capability

Old 01-19-2019, 04:57 AM
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Default Amazon Expanding Shipping Capability

Good read.
“Make no mistake, Amazon wants to take command and control over as much of its logistics as possible,”

Check out this article from USA TODAY:
Amazon pushing hard into ocean shipping, making it easier for Chinese goods to get to you

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Old 01-20-2019, 07:24 AM
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Amazon has always been three things. A finance company, a data/hosting company, and a logistics company. They have never really been an online retailer and that was never the goal.

Sears didn’t lose at E-Com for any reason other then their supply chain sucked.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:48 AM
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It's okay! Fred Smith thinks its "Fantastical" that Amazon is trying to compete. He needs to take a break from the diluted purple Kool Aid and take a look around him.

Fred Smith needs a good dose of reality when it comes to future competition. Everyone seems to be in denial and wall street isn't buying the idea that Amazon can't compete.

Make no mistake Amazon has some obvious competitive advantages over Fedex and UPS.
•Amazon is building their logistics network with the latest technology which offers greater cost savings and efficiencies. Go hang out at the Fedex Hub and watch the train wreck as employees are still hand scanning boxes as they fall off the conveyor belts because they can't keep up. Meanwhile, Amazon has robots and GPS driven devices moving their packages. Take a jumpseat out of the sorting facility in Newark just to see how far behind some of the facilities are.
•Amazon has over 1/3 of the U.S. population as prime customers that will quickly become Amazon ship customers automatically at the click of a button.
•Amazon has the advantage of offering businesses one of the biggest marketplaces in the world and bringing customers straight to businesses and offer logistic and shipping services. Being just a shipping company will not be enough in the future. Fred Smith and others at UPS continue to boast about the fact that Fedex's business is mostly business to business. Amazon once ready can deliver greater value.
•Amazon is a tech company with forward-thinking individuals that can quickly overcome the idea that it takes a conventional logistic network like Fedex or UPS to compete. Technology and the right strategies can easily change that overnight.

Ask Kodak how things are looking these days...
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:46 PM
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More, from the recent issue of Air Cargo World. I believe FedEx and UPS ignore Amazon at their peril (though you'd never believe that by reading what all the pilot experts on their message boards believe):

By Randy Woods



The flight deck of the U.S.S. Nimitz aircraft carrier measures a little more than 2.5 hectares. That may seem like a vast area to a person standing on the deck, but from the vantage point of a fighter aircraft, approaching at about 135 knots, the landing strip can look like a mere speck on an endless sea. Also, because the ship is likely under way and heaving on ocean swells, the tiny target is constantly moving unpredictably in every direction.

Now imagine the same scenario in pitch-black, moonless conditions.
“I wanted to serve my country, and I thought that the most difficult thing to do would be landing on ships at night,” said Sarah Rhoads, former fighter pilot and current director of Amazon Air. “And I had the privilege of doing that.”

Ever since she was seven years old, growing up in her home state of Montana, Rhoads wanted nothing more than to fly fast. Her father had taken Sarah to see an air show, and she was instantly smitten by the rush of precision flying. “I don’t know what it was, but I just wanted to feel what it was like to break the sound barrier and go fast and fly upside down,” said the former daredevil.

Today, after a successful career as a pilot and flight instructor for the U.S. Navy’s carrier-based F/A-18 aircraft, Rhoads is no longer busting sound barriers, but she is still breaking things – like the conventions of the e-commerce air markets.

At Amazon Air, Rhoads is now responsible for providing the leadership and vision for Amazon’s expanding airhaul network, which grew from zero freighters in March 2016 to 40 freighters today.

It’s easy to forget that Amazon Air, which has commanded the attention of the logistics world for most of the last two years, didn’t even exist before 2016. In 2015, Amazon worked with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to experiment with operating an own-controlled fleet of freighters to complement its reliance on the U.S. Postal Service and integrators such as FedEx and UPS.

After announcing it would launch its own air network, Amazon made an initial order to lease 20 converted 767 freighters to be operated by ATSG’s subsidiaries, ABX Air and Air Transport International. Later, another 20 converted 767Fs were ordered, to be operated by Atlas Air Worldwide.
By the start of 2017, Amazon revealed that it would base most of its expanding fleet at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and share the ramp space and large sorting facility built years earlier by DHL Express.

Since September 2017, Rhoads has been in charge of all of this explosive growth. Amazon Air is now embarking on its latest phase – the construction of its own cargo facility at CVG, apart from the existing DHL hub. Eventually, the new cargo center could employ 15,000 workers and handle up to 200 flights per day.

All told in 2018, Amazon Air has added eight 767 freighters to its fleet and seven new “gateway” destinations, in Denver; Hartford; Miami; Minneapolis; Portland, Ore.; Wilmington, Ohio; and the latest addition, Riverside, Calif., bringing the total to 21 gateways, nationwide. While 20 of the freighters operate out of the CVG hub, many of the rest fly point-to-point routes to these gateways, as demand needs change.
“2018 has certainly been a year of growth for the Amazon Air program,” Rhoads said. “I’m certainly proud of all the work my team has done to get to this point.”

The main goal, this year and every year, is to ensure that the carrier has the capacity necessary to fulfill Amazon’s customer promise, Rhoads said. “And I think we’ve been very methodical with our planning, so fortunately I wouldn’t say we’ve been particularly surprised by anything,” she added. “We’ve been able to maintain stability in a year with still some fairly rapid growth.”

For maintaining control of the stick at Amazon Air during this year of

intense activity, for service to her country, and for her role in helping reinvent air cargo logistics, Air Cargo World’s readers and editors recognize Sarah Rhoads as Air Cargo Executive of the Year for 2018.
“Sarah is an excellent choice” for Executive of the Year, said John Dietrich, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Atlas Air Worldwide. “She has taken on enormous responsibility with an aggressive business plan – all of which she and her team have managed to execute on time.”

Actions rather than words

Since its humble beginning in 1994, nearly a quarter-century ago, Amazon has been reluctant to give up its secrets or comment on its future ambitions. The same is true for Amazon Air, which was founded in 2016 as the e-tailer’s air delivery arm.

Strolling inside the other-worldly, triple-lobed glass-and-steel domes called “The Spheres” at Amazon’s newly built – and still expanding – Seattle headquarters, Rhoads was circumspect about the inner workings of the carrier. In true military protocol, Rhoads gave all credit for her success to the “world-class, diverse talent” on her team.

When asked about Amazon Air’s future, Rhoads returned with laser-like precision to her focus on her customers. “We need to make sure that we’re growing in a way that fulfills our customer promise,” Rhoads said. “This year, we’ve launched seven gateways, so that’s kind of a reflection of our expansion.”

But while Rhoads is reticent to speak, a swirl of unanswered questions continues to spin around Amazon about its growing competition in the U.S. and abroad, global trade wars or potential economic hardships in 2019.

For instance, it has been well documented that, in 2015, Amazon had experimented with own-controlled express air networks in Europe, with help from 3PL DB Schenker and 737 freighters from ASL Airlines. Rumors have circulated that Europe may be the next stepping stone for Amazon Air.

Rhoads, however, had little to add, other than to say, “My role really is to focus on North America right now.” Atlas’ Dietrich also had no comment about where Amazon might make its next move, but added that, “Amazon is the leader in the fast-growing global e-commerce sector, with opportunity to expand across all geographies.”

As for the addition of differentkinds of aircraft, Rhoads said that the
767 is a “workhorse” and “a proven platform that has demonstrated that
it’s done what we’ve needed it to do for the past two years.”

Amazon Air and its carrierpartners have also been dogged with complaints by pilot unions –especially Teamsters Local 1224, representing pilots from subsidiarycarriers owned by Atlas and ATSG– that pilots are being overworkedand undercompensated for the extra hours needed to meet Amazon’s e-commerce demand. Rhoads said those are questions for the carriersthat are contracted to fly for Amazon Air, but added that, “the service that’s been provided by Atlas and ATSG to us has been very consistent.”

As demand for e-commerce rises, many airfreight pundits foresee a
time when Amazon will more closely resemble an integrator than an
e-tail giant, which would turn the likes of FedEx and UPS into direct
competitors rather than clients.

Currently, FedEx and UPS “arest ill very much our partners,” Rhoads
said. “But I’ll be honest – we want to make sure we deliver on that two-day [delivery] promise, in particular.”

Top Gun days

Rhoads remains close-lipped about Amazon’s tactical and strategic
thinking, but she is by no means taciturn when it comes to her team.
“I would say that I have a very open communication with my team; I
welcome and expect feedback – and, frankly, pushback from my team,” she explained. “If there’s a better way of doing something, I want to hear it.”

A spokesperson for Amazon described Rhoads’ style as “confident yet humble servant leadership,” which focuses on “removing barriers,
enabling her team to solve complex problems with innovative solutions.”
“I try to lead by example, as well,” Rhoads said. “I try to encourage
people to make mistakes while ensuring we don’t fail. I think that’s
one of the best ways to learn is by learning from mistakes.”

Dietrich has high praise for the professionalism of the Amazon Air team, despite the short time it has been operating. “They have extraordinary command of the subject matter,” he said. “They are very focused on customer service. We are honored that Sarah and the Amazon team have chosen Atlas Air as a partner.”

Rhoads’ precise way of taking on new challenges was, no doubt, forged
during her service in the U.S. Navy. Following the dream of that little girl
at a Montana air show, she joined the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a
bachelor of science degree with merit in mechanical engineering, and later
earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from
the U.S. Naval War College. She served on active duty in the Navy from 1999 to 2011, and as an active Reservist from 2011 to 2014,
achieving the rank of Commander, and flying the carrier-based F/A-18
E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft. During Operation Iraqi Freedom in
2003, she flew 37 combat missions from the U.S.S. Nimitz in the Arabian
Gulf, providing air support, armed reconnaissance and escort.

Later, Rhoads served as an instructor pilot with Strike Fighter Squadron 122 from 2005 to 2007. Among many other duties, she instructed more than 100 Naval aviators in the operation and tactical employment of the Super Hornet. “Sarah was one of three pilots selected Navy-wide to represent the United States at the 2006 Farnborough International Airshow,” said the Amazon spokesperson. “She’s our real-life ‘Top Gun.’”

Being a successful woman in a traditionally, almost exclusively, male
profession, Rhoads said she is often asked if she suffered extra hardships
on her rise through the ranks. “Really, I never made a big deal about it,” she explained. “Because I didn’t, other people didn’t either. The great thing about aviation is it doesn’t matter what your gender is or your religion or your race. It’s how you do the job. That’s what counts.”

Coming home

After an adrenaline-fueled, high-stress 12 years of service, Rhoads began thinking about her transition to civilian life in 2014, but it was Amazon that made the first move. “They found me first,” she said. “I think they saw maybe the translatable skills that I had before I recognized it.”

“We saw someone who had achieved every educational and professional goal set in some intense environments, and with high performing teams,” said an Amazon spokesperson about Rhoads’ military and aviation credentials.

While she was still a Navy Reservist, Rhoads joined Amazon in May 2011 as an operations manager for a fulfillment center in Lexington, Kentucky, and was promoted in 2012 to senior operations manager, leading
fulfillment center teams in Lexington and Columbia, South Carolina. She
then relocated in 2013 to Fort Worth, to lead the launch of the outbound
operation in the largest, roboticsready facility in Amazon’s network.

“What really made me interested was the pace of operations. I think
I’m an operator at heart,” Rhoads said. “I also wanted to be challenged
every day in a positive way, just like I was in the Navy. Third, I wanted to do something where I wouldn’t be sitting behind a desk every day, and Amazon has provided that every day.”

After developing a genuine love for the operational aspects of fulfillment logistics, Rhoads transferred to Wales to become general manager of one of the largest Amazon operations in the U.K. By January 2016, she relocated to London and became regional director of operations, responsible for leading thousands of Amazon employees and fulfillment center operations in northwest England and Wales.

Despite her increasing responsibilities, Rhoads’ duties were often
hands-on, including shifts on the “front line,” picking merchandise for
customer orders. “I spent quite a bit of time in fulfillment centers, when
I was representing my region,” she said. “There’s an expectation to know
all the details of one’s business.”

In April 2017, Rhoads came back to the U.S., seeking a shift to
Amazon’s new aviation arm, then known as “Prime Air.” As someone
with a passion for both aviation and fulfillment, she fit in well as director
of aviation operations for the airwing, based in Seattle. She was promoted to director of Prime Air in September 2017, which changed its name to “Amazon Air” by year’s end to avoid confusion with its delivery
drone program, also called Prime Air.

Rhoads also appreciates how much her Navy background has suited he current position. “It’s been helpful to have a true understanding and
appreciation for aviation safety,” she noted. “Understanding things, ranging from engines to instrument approach requirements, runway
lengths, and what it means when aircraft need to divert because of a weather event.”

More holistically, Rhoads said she is grateful for the “agility” she learned in the Navy, which she defined as, “being able to recognize that things
may not go according to plan, how to adapt and still be able to be successful, especially in what can be considered an ambiguous environment.”

As an avid downhill skier, long-distance runner and outdoor enthusiast, Rhoads has never been one to stay idle for very long. “What keeps me
away from my desk is engaging with my team,” she said. “I do travel quite a bit, and I find that engaging with front-line workers – folks that are at the core of our operation – I really value that.”

What’s ahead for 2019?

When Air Cargo World spoke with Rhoads, Amazon was on the cusp of peak season activity, but there was a distinct calmness about her
demeanor. “It’s always an exciting time for us,” she said. “But we spend a lot of time planning for our peak season. The outcome is usually indicative of the amount of effort’s that’s put in.”

True to form, she was not thinking much beyond the immediate tasks at hand. Her outlook for 2019, she said, will have to wait until the peak
runs like clockwork first. “But it’s not too early to start thinking about 2019,” she acknowledged. “We saw it in 2017 and this year, we’ve experienced quite a bit of growth. I think I need to make sure
that we, as an organization, are prepared to handle that growth – whatever that may be.”

Much of next year will be spent on preliminary work for Amazon’s CVG hub, so that it no longer has to share DHL’s sorting equipment. “We’ll make sure that we’re ready for a 2021 launch,” she said.

For the most part, Rhoads said she prefers to rely on her experienced, cross-functional team to come up with day-to-day decisions. “But for
some of the larger decisions that really drive our business, there have been particular points where I maybe provide a little rudder-steering in there,” she added. “But that’s the fun part about my job.”

After making countless practice runs landing on a moving speck on the ocean – and learning from mistakes until it was done right – Sarah
Rhoads will likely continue guiding Amazon Airwith a steely nerve and a steady hand.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:05 PM
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4 min of my life I cant never get back🙄
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:11 PM
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Adapt or GTFO.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptDave
Adapt or GTFO.
Classy I see🙄
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by brownie
Classy I see🙄
I’ll expound. That is a re-occurring business model mindset. I don’t find it classy, either, but it is what it is.

In other words, if a business is not willing to adapt to changes in the industry, it will eventually close the doors due to client/customer shift to a more “updated” service or product.

The bottom line is, when it’s all said and done, their goal is to turn profits for themselves and investors while keeping costs low and if a company is not willing or able to adapt their product, they will close their doors eventually.

Anyways, I’ll go back to my hole now and stop jumping in where I do not belong.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:58 PM
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Why couldn't Amazon compete with Brown and Purple? They can if they want to.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by No Land 3
Why couldn't Amazon compete with Brown and Purple? They can if they want to.
Different business models... the airline is part of Amazon’s model whereas, UPS and FED EX business models do not include retail, unless you want to include their stores as such.
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