Demand too low for new US cargo hubs

A consultant tasked with helping determine the future of DHL’s former Wilmington air hub has said that the key will be to look within a 50-mile radius for key new tenants or other air park users instead of starting by looking far afield or in other countries.


DHL’s former Wilmington air hub


Demand too low for new US cargo hubs

A consultant tasked with helping determine the future of DHL’s former Wilmington air hub has said that the key will be to look within a 50-mile radius for key new tenants or other air park users instead of starting by looking far afield or in other countries. If one of those local companies can be secured, then the air park is already ahead of competitors, according to air cargo and logistics planner Daniel Muscatello of Landrum & Brown Worldwide Services, a Cincinnati-based aviation planning company. “Otherwise you’re just selling a vision, like 100 other airports in America,” he added. But even those air cargo facilities that do everything right – differentiating themselves instead of touting capacity and runways – may not see big growth, he said. There just isn’t enough demand for all of the land and runway space available around the US. “Everyone in North America wants to build a logistics park or airport city,” he said. “It’s not going to be a big number that make it,” said Muscatello, who is working to help the Wilmington Air Park reinvent itself after losing logistics and express giant DHL. In many cases, he said, it may make more sense for a cargo airport to take what business it can easily bring in instead of spending time and money chasing something that may never happen. But that approach isn’t usually favored, Muscatello said. “Politicians like to think they’re driving into the future via air, not trucks,” he said. “It’s a great idea, but there can only be so many (air cargo parks).”