According to a statement from EFL, the DOH-PIT service offers its customers in Asia a solution for 72-hour transit time from the Asia-Pacific region to regional distribution centers and retail stores in the United States. Pittsburgh is also located midway between Chicago and New York, granting reasonably convenient access to two of the largest air cargo markets in the U.S.
EFL has long been involved in the logistics of “fast fashion,” which prioritizes getting clothing from factories in Asia to retail stores in the U.S. and Europe as quickly as possible. In 2016, EFL was behind the launch of Emirates services to Rickenbacker Airport (LCK) in Columbus, Ohio, for L Brands, the 3PL told Air Cargo World at the time. Trinity Logistics also developed a deal with Etihad Cargo to import clothing items from Sri Lanka around the same time, helping to establish LCK as a fashion import hub thanks to its proximity to clothing markets and large apparel retailers.
Whether PIT will follow in LCK’s footsteps as a fashion hub remains to be seen. According to PIT’s website, scheduled cargo operations at the airport are undertaken by Qatar Cargo, UPS Airlines and FedEx Express. A spokesperson for the airport told Air Cargo World that the airport is “focused on increasing the success of our passenger service, which includes belly cargo capacity on year-round British Airways service and seasonal service on Condor as well as supporting freighter service.”
Qatar began operating twice-weekly scheduled 777F flights into PIT in October 2017, marking the 13th U.S. destination for Qatar Airways Cargo at the time, and the first scheduled freighter route through PIT.
This story was updated to include comments from Pittsburgh International Airport.