Edmonton takes cargo (even more) seriously

At the beginning of September this year, when Air China Cargo’s (ACC) B777F freighter landed at Edmonton International Airport (EIA), a doorway between western Canada, the Asia-Pacifi c and Dallas-Fort Worth region opened. Today, with ACC’s six fl ights a week (three from Dallas and three from Shanghai), routing consignments from EIA has become faster, more effi cient and crucially, more connected. Manfred Singh reports.


At the official, inaugural celebrations
at EIA, Patrick Yu, ACC vice
president said: “Th is first freighter
route between Mainland China and
Alberta is a key connection between two
economies with high-growth momentum.
The market demand for direct cargo
services between Asia and Canada has
been growing, and our brand new route
will help grow the economies of both
regions.”

Norm Richard, EIA’s director of Air
Service Development, is optimistic. In
replies to Payload Asia, he mentioned
that the ACC flights had brought in its
wake “extensive” advantages. “Chinese
investment into Alberta has surpassed
C$30 billion (US$22.9 billion) in the last
four years which is a strong indicator of
the present and future trade patterns that
support non-stop transpacific freighter
services,” said Richard.

He went on to point out that “the City
of Edmonton is recognised as the hub
of manufacturing throughout western
Canada with more than 40 per cent of
the value of manufactured goods in the
west originating from the immediate
Edmonton region”. Th e non-stop access
to and from Shanghai – also a recognised
manufacturing hub – and air cargo airport transhipment throughout Asia would
improve the current trade efficiencies and
position the Edmonton manufacturing hub
for new market opportunities, he said.

EIA estimates that ACC’s new services
will generate $31 million in GDP for the
Edmonton Metro region. Industrial oil
and gas products are now being shipped
between Edmonton and Dallas. Both
industrial and agricultural goods are
being shipped to China, while high-end
electronic products can now be shipped
directly to Edmonton.

“Our energy, manufacturing, agriculture
and other industries can now ship goods
more efficiently to China and the Asia-
Pacific region, further extending our
region’s trade network,” said Tom Ruth, EIA
president and CEO at the inaugural flight
celebrations. Additionally, the nonstop
connections to and from Texas via Dallas-
Fort Worth Airport are equally significant.

“Texas and Alberta are world leaders
in the oil and gas sector,” said Richard.
Adjacent to the Edmonton International
Airport, for example, is the largest energy
park in Canada and the second largest in
North America (Houston is the largest).

Many of the industry giants maintain
offices and manufacturing centers in both
Houston and Edmonton.

“Th e Air China Cargo service is the only
nonstop cargo freighter operation between
the province of Alberta and the state of
Texas” giving it the first-mover advantage.

Strategically located – EIA is adjacent to
the CANAMEX corridor (the road trade
lane from Alaska to Mexico) that provides
road carrier infrastructure for multi modal
shipments – the cargo facilities are being
enhanced with a new special operations
cargo charter facility that will expand the
airport’s capability in all market sectors
oil and gas, perishables, pharma and live
animals.