Cathay Pacific said it will add Portland International Airport (PDX, seen above) to its twice-a-week West Coast route from Hong Kong. With the new Oregon-based destination, the new route will be Hong Kong-Anchorage-Los Angeles-Portland-Anchorage-Hong Kong, leaving every Thursday and Saturday, the carrier said.
The addition makes Portland Cathay’s 18th cargo station in the Americas. Already, the carrier serves the route with its 747-8F, given the volume and wide range of commodities moved between the United State and Asia.
The Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. is a growing site of exports to Asia. The Greater Portland area – where Nike is headquartered – recently made the list of the top 50 export areas in the country, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Portland area exported US$18.7 billion in electronics, agricultural and other products. A large share made its way to markets in Asia. In fact, exports are up 6 percent from 2013.
While China developed a reputation as a clothing exporter in decades’ past, Cathay is responding to a reversal of this trend – Asian consumers are now hungry for U.S. produced apparel. The carrier said that the 747-8F aircraft offers more cargo space to carry the high volumes of semi-finished footwear and apparel, electronics, and perishables from Portland and the surrounding area to Asia. Portland is also quickly becoming a major hub for e-commerce-related shipments, the carrier noted.
Philippe Lacamp, senior vice president of the Americas region for Cathay Pacific, explained that “the high density of technology companies, athletic and footwear manufacturers, and exporting businesses in the region make it a natural extension” to the carrier’s existing West Coast service.