SF Express, the largest private express logistics firm in China, is set to build cargo air hub in central China after an airport site-selection report was approved by Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
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 a China Daily report.
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. The new airport is slated to eventually have an annual capacity to handle five million tonnes of freight and become the fourth-largest cargo airport in the world.
Industry observers 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 now holds the dominant position in the country’s domestic air cargo market, accounting for 20 per cent of the total China market. SF Express currently has 19 cargo aircraft and leases another 20 and its target is to own 100 aircraft by 2020.
SF Airlines currently operates 31 aircraft, including two B767-300BCFs, sixteen B757-200Fs, three B737-400Fs, and ten B737-300Fs. It also has at least ten more P2F conversions (including B767s, B757s, and B737s) on order.