Amerijet shutters Rickenbacker, Reno cargo hubs

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Just two months after it began, an experiment with hybridized air and truck freight shipping came to a quick end in September with the closing of Amerijet International’s twin cargo operations in Columbus, OH, and Reno, NV. Amerijet president Dave Bassett said that low frequency and volume were the main causes of the shutdown.

In July, Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based Amerijet began leasing a 20,000-square-foot space at the all-cargo Rickenbacker International (LCK) in Columbus and sending six cargo flights a week to Reno/Tahoe International (RNO) and back, using a 767-200F. At each hub, cargo would be transported by truck to various other regional domestic markets on the East and West coasts.

The plan was to provide affordable, expedited service for long-haul cargo to most locations in the continental U.S. in about a day and a half to two days, compared to the three or four days needed for all-truck transport. Not long after it began, however, Amerijet switched to using one of its narrow-body 727-200Fs to fly the Rickenbacker-Reno route before eventually discontinuing the service. 

“The market is there. We just have to figure out how to get enough frequency and volume,” Bassett told the Columbus Dispatch.  “We had hoped it would eventually represent about 10 percent of our business, but it didn’t turn out that way.”

Amerijet, with revenues of US$300 million per year, operates three 727-200Fs, three 767-200Fs, and one 767-300F, serving more than 600 locations in North and South Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Only 4,000 of the total 138,000 square feet of warehouse space Amerijet leased at Rickenbacker has been used, according to the Dispatch. The Columbus Regional Airport Authority said it will work with Amerijet to try to backfill the space before the current lease expires in July 2015.

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