High fashion still seems to be in fashion in the airfreight arena, as Etihad Cargo announced yesterday that it has signed a deal with forwarder Trinity Logistics USA, Inc., to operate a weekly widebody freighter service to deliver couture clothing items from Sri Lanka to Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) in Columbus, U.S.
After experimenting with a number of charter Etihad Cargo flights earlier this summer, Trinity Logistics and the United Arab Emirates-based carrier said they are “formalizing” their agreement with a partnership that has an estimated value of nearly US$20 million.
Under the agreement, Etihad Cargo will operate 777F and 747F aircraft from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) to LCK, and then fly beyond to the East Midlands in the U.K . Columbus has lately become a major logistics hub because of its access to more clothing markets “within a 10-hour drive than any other major city in the United States,” according to Trinity.
Trinity Logistics, which specializes in the fashion industry, said the Colombo-to-Columbus service will bring the latest high-fashion item from the manufacturers in South East Asia into the United States for its global clients. Columbus is home some of the largest apparel retailers in the U.S., including such brands as Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Speedo, Abercrombie & Fitch and Marks & Spencer – all of which have garments made in Sri Lanka.
David Pereira, president of Trinity Logistics, described the Ohio location of Rickenbacker as “one of the most important cargo zip codes in the United States,” for its ability to handle high-volumes of fashion merchandise to be sent to nearby retail distributions networks. According to the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, apparel exports from that country topped US$4.5 billion in 2015, representing 40 per cent of the country’s total exports.
David Kerr, senior vice president of Etihad Cargo, credited the flexibility its freighter fleet for landing the Trinity deal, since the fashion industry “is so reliant on a responsive supply chain.”Like This Post