Amazon’s first branded air cargo plane took its first flight on August 5 during the Boeing Seafair’s Air Show in Seattle, reports Forbes. This is the latest in a series of moves by Amazon to take its merchandise delivery network to new heights.

What is Amazon One?

The airplane, dubbed Amazon One, is one of 40 leased by Amazon via air cargo partners Atlas Air and ATSG to expedite product deliveries and expand its supply chain capacity. Amazon’s air transportation fleet currently has 11 planes flying for the online retailer, with additional plans for expansions.

Deliveries that might not have been available next day, suddenly could be available next day for customers. Dave Clark, Amazon’s VP for Worldwide Operations

Amazon has ramped up efforts over the past year to accelerate product delivery speeds to tap into the US ecommerce market that reached $335 billion in sales last year.

The company has added Amazon Flex, a mobile application that allows individuals to deliver for Amazon, a dedicated network of 4,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity and now a network of air cargo planes.

The shipping expansion comes as Amazon heads into the Super Bowl of the retail calendar year, the holiday shopping season, when stores generate a disproportionate chunk of their annual sales.

The gift giving season is considered ‘make or break’ for retailers. Amazon is not holding back to fully generate sales during this season.

Amazon, and all online merchants, are under pressure to stave off product delivery mishaps, for example, delivering a toy on December 26 instead of in time for Christmas.

Amazon captured $82.8 billion in ecommerce sales over the last 12 months, growing 15.8% from the previous 12 months. The newly unveiled Amazon one will be used to accelerate last mile delivery and hopefully play a part in boosting growth for the next quarter.

A version of this appeared in Forbes on August 5. Read the full version here.

XPO Logistics has reported its first profitable quarter in at least four years, as the company has gained new customers and moved forward in acquisition, reports Wall Street Journal.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based company has rolled up businesses from different corners of the logistics industry including multi-billion dollar acquisitions of transportation providers in the US and Europe.

They posted a record $42.6 million profit for the second quarter. This is a very impressive comeback following its $75 million loss only a year earlier.

XPO is growing revenue by offering end-to-end logistics solutions, from arranging freight transportation to managing warehouses to delivering goods to customers’ doors.

Ecommerce continues to be one of the most important tailwinds for margin expansion in last mile on both sides of the Atlantic. – Brad Jacobs, Chief Executive of XPO. 

XPO’s transition to profitability comes amid weak demand for freight transportation, which has hit many of XPO’s competitors in the trucking industry. The company has profited like DHL and UPS in excellent Q2 reports due to the surge in ecommerce.

A version of this appeared in The Wall Street Journal on August 3. Read the full version here