Amazon Bought 11 Boeing 767-300s and Cut out a Middleman in the Process

Does Amazon have its own airplanes? To put it simply, there’s a good reason financial advisors tell their clients to buy a car rather than lease it. With a car, you’re only talking a few hundred dollars or so a month on average. Considering that something like a Boeing 767-300 freighter can easily cost over half a million a month to lease but a listing price shy of $200,000 to buy, it doesn’t take a shrewd business mind to figure out which is the better choice.

Amazon’s electric vehicle fleet

An Amazon Prime Air Boeing 737 aircraft parked at the Le Bourget Airport LBG in France
An Amazon Prime Air Boeing 737 aircraft | Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Last year, Amazon took the self-sufficiency thing a lot further by partnering up with Rivian, an American electric vehicle automaker, to build its first all-electric delivery van. These unique vans will feature state-of-the-art technology such as advanced driver assist (ADA) and specialized sensing equipment. Supposedly, the e-commerce giant anticipates having around 10,000 of these EVs on the road by 2022. In fact, Amazon is pushing to have over 100,000 of them operating throughout the United States by 2030.

In a previous article we published, we reported that Amazon’s delivery network is so vast that it has affected the U.S. van market. However, while the company decided it would be better to produce its own delivery vehicles from scratch, it seems they chose to buy rather than lease a fleet of freighter airplanes.

How much did it cost Amazon to buy its airplanes?

Amazon is no longer playing around. According to the Chicago Tribune, Amazon had been “working to deliver most of its packages itself and rely less on UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, and other carriers.” If you’ve ever price-checked overseas shipping rates, then you know such an arrangement wouldn’t be sustainable for the long term.

We’re just a tad curious if former President Trump’s constant attack on Bezos and Amazon played a role as well. If you recall, Trump ironically accused Amazon of not paying enough taxes. However, the real threat came when Trump began trying to pressure U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double Postal Service charges for Amazon and other e-commerce businesses. If Trump had succeeded, this would have likely cost Amazon billions of dollars.

Our research on leasing a Boeing 767-300 freighter suggests that it would cost upwards of $600,000 to $650,000 a month. This information is based on a report published by 24/7 Wall St and their data obtained from The Seattle Times. Even leasing used 767-300 freighters was estimated to cost approximately $150,000 and $480,000 per month several years ago. Published in 2015, the report noted that FedEx had purchased a collection of 50 Boeing 767-300s for $9.97 billion.

So much for Amazon’s ‘green pledge’

Sophocles, one of Greece’s most prolific tragedians, once said that “Money is the worst currency that ever grew among mankind. This sacks cities, this drives men from their homes, this teaches and corrupts the worthiest minds to turn base deeds.”

With that said, Amazon is the fourth richest corporation in the world by market capitalization in 2021, according to Statista. On top of that, it’s run by the now second richest man in the world (Bernard Arnault took his first place spot by $300 million recently). Thus, we shouldn’t be all too surprised that the company has likely already reneged on its pledge to make 50 percent of its shipments net zero carbon by 2030, as reported by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg points out that airlines around the globe began renewing their fleets, retiring outdated aircraft, and replacing them with newer, more efficient models. The 767-300s purchased by Amazon typically burn through 9,000 gallons of fuel on a single cross-country trip. This explains why — rather than decreasing emissions as promised — Amazon’s carbon emissions rose 15 percent. Maybe Amazon plans to compensate for that rise with its new army of electric delivery vans.

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