The world’s largest online retailer Amazon is closing its air freight centre at Leipzig/Halle Airport. The company announced this last week, referring to an adjustment of the logistics network, which means that some flight connections from Leipzig are no longer necessary. Apparently, high costs are also a reason for the step, which affects 400 local employees.
According to information from the DVZ, Amazon conducted a cost comparison analysis at the site at the end of 2021, a good year after the start of operations. The result: the handling company Portground, a subsidiary of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, showed a cost level that was around 40 per cent lower. The reason for this was apparently the higher security requirements compared to Portground; these increased the cost of the handling processes in terms of equipment and personnel deployment. The latter was up to 35 per cent higher at Amazon than at Portground. Amazon did not want to comment on this when asked by DVZ.
It is not yet clear when Amazon will withdraw from the air freight centre, according to the online retailer. “Operations will not be discontinued immediately,” Amazon replied when asked. According to information from the DVZ, the last shift will be on 13 November; the dismantling of the facility must be completed by March 2024.
However, Amazon’s hangar staff are already in demand. Other handling companies at the site are planning to hire more Amazon employees, according to airport sources.
(My own opinion: air cargo handling is only for professionals, my experience as a trained logistician I am glad that Amazon cannot do everything so easily).