Air cargo at Edmonton International Airport (EIA) grew by 8.3 percent in 2013, six times the global average of 1.4 percent, the airport announced on Monday. EIA also registered its 15th consecutive quarter of cargo growth during the fourth quarter of 2013, with total volume growing by 23 percent over the past four years.
“The consistent growth we’re seeing at EIA in a sector that has been facing a challenging environment across the globe is a testament to the strong return-on-investment air carriers are achieving here, courtesy of our growing community of freight forwarders, brokers, manufacturers and shippers,” says Norm Richard, Director of Air Service Development (Cargo) at EIA.
Factors contributing to EIA’s cargo growth in 2013 include :
• 11 percent volume increase by pure-freight carriers FedEx, Cargojet, Purolator and DHL
• FedEx’s up-gauging of daily Edmonton-Memphis service to a wide-body Airbus A310 freighter in January 2013
• DHL’s up-gauging of Edmonton-Cincinnati service to wide-body Boeing 767 freighter during the holiday peak season
• Cargojet’s doubling of flight frequency during the holiday peak season
• 15 percent volume increase by cargo charter operators
“Our cargo operations are at record levels. The growth we’re seeing in air cargo speaks volumes to the strength of the economy of central and northern Alberta. EIA has excellent capacity, superb facilities and is positioned for continued growth,” says Myron Keehn, EIA vice president for commercial development.
EIA has made several recent upgrades to its cargo facilities. It recently invested $35 million in a new Cargo Village, enabling customs, logistics and warehousing facilities and office space for freight forwarders. In October 2013 EIA announced a partnership with California-based Panattoni Developments for the next phase of expansion to the Cargo Village. New facilities will continue to be added in 2014.
This air cargo growth reflects Edmonton and northern Alberta’s growing economic importance. In 2013 Edmonton achieved the highest GDP growth (4.6 percent) and lowest unemployment (4.8 percent) among Canada’s 10 largest cities. Edmonton's population grew by 12.1 percent between 2006 and 2011, making it Canada’s second fastest growing city, and in 2013 the city added 24,800 net new jobs. Capital investments in northern Alberta totaled $168 billion in February 2014.