Amazon to spend $1.49 billion on air cargo hub, fans talk of bigger ambitions

By Jeffrey Dastin SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc plans to invest $1.49 billion to build a large air cargo hub in northern Kentucky, state officials said on Tuesday, stoking expectations it may one day opt to directly compete with FedEx Corp and United Parcel Service Inc. The world's biggest online retailer has agreed to a 50-year lease for about 900 acres of property from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport – close in size to the global hubs of top cargo airlines. Amazon is handling more shipping in-house so it can deliver packages to customers faster, as well as cut costs and uncertainty associated with relying on third parties. "We estimate a $400 billion-plus market opportunity for Amazon in delivery, freight forwarding, and contract logistics," Colin Sebastian, an analyst for Baird Equity Research, said in a note to clients.

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