SF Express, the largest private express logistics firm in China, is set to build a cargo air hub in central China after an airport site-selection report was approved by civil aviation authorities.
A freight airport is expected to be built at the town of Yanji, about 75 km east of Wuhan, the capital of central Hubei province, according to Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The choice of the airport in Yanji enables it to cover most of the mainland within one-and-a-half hours of air travel time.
Industry experts believe the hub, if completed, has the potential to serve SF Express in China the way Memphis serves FedEx or UPS in the US.
The Shenzhen-based SF express Group currently has 19 cargo aircraft and leases another 20 and its target is to own 100 aircraft by 2020.
It now holds the dominated position in the country's air cargo market, accounting for 20 percent of the total in China.
However, SF's size would pale in comparison with that of its major international counterparts. FedEx, for example, owns 650 aircraft and covers more than 220 countries.
In China's civil aviation industry, passengers are given priority over cargo and cargo delivery inevitably gives way to passenger transport in some busy airports.
Gu Qian, public relations manager at SF Express (Group) Co Ltd, told China Daily last year that the company would like to choose a location in central China so that the project could be included in the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone and support the development of the nation's multinational "One Belt, One Road" trade initiative.