If there's one thing Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is known for, it's the company's ability to ship out goods quickly and efficiently. And the retail giant is continuously looking to up its game in that regard.
In 2019, the company broke ground on its Amazon Air Hub, a massive facility to support its growing air cargo network. And recently, operations officially began at the site.
Breathing life into Cincinnati
Amazon's new air hub operation, which is located at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, was a $1.5 billion work in progress. Its purpose, of course, is to help increase delivery speeds for customer orders and allow Amazon to carve out an even greater edge over the competition.
The hub includes an 800,000 square-foot sortation building on a 600 acre-plus campus. The facility employs new robotic technology to sort and move packages more efficiently. And the setup is eco-friendly, featuring a solar rooftop scheduled for installation over the next year that will help feed power into the local grid.
In conjunction with opening its new air hub, Amazon has also expanded its fleet of planes to up its delivery game. And it's making these investments at just the right time.
Over the past year, digital sales have soared as more and more customers have shifted from in-store purchases to online orders. And with the holiday season just around the corner, Amazon knows it needs to continuously offer added value on the shipping and delivery front to trump competitors like Target and Walmart.
Just as importantly, Amazon's new air hub will create an estimated 2,000 jobs. That's great news for the Cincinnati economy.
The investor takeaway
Amazon's new hub could spell lots of opportunity for real estate investors. Since the facility will bring more jobs to the area, the demand for housing is likely to climb. That means now's a good time for investors to scoop up income properties in close proximity to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Furthermore, investors who already own properties in the area could see their value soar.
The new air hub could also help breathe life into small businesses that may be struggling in the wake of the pandemic. Bringing more people into the area for work means boosting foot traffic at local establishments. And that could prevent small businesses from shuttering, thereby sparing commercial landlords the loss of rental revenue and helping them avoid vacancies.
In addition to its new air hub, Amazon is working on expanding its network of warehouses and fulfillment centers across the country. Its goal is to ultimately put itself closer to customers so it can deliver orders at rapid speed and continue to dominate the e-commerce space.
Over the past year, big-box giants like Target and Walmart have taken steps to improve their own shipping and delivery processes, and so the pressure's on for Amazon to smoke out the competition. The good news is that real estate investors stand to benefit from the online giant's expansion efforts in a very big way.