With demand for e-commerce increases, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is positioned to be at the centre of goods movements in Southern Ontario, president and chief executive officer Vijay Bathija (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week.
Hamilton Airport has seen double-digit growth so far in 2017 and the outlook for the rest of the year is good, driven by e-commerce alongside perishables and high value items.
Bathija says many carriers use Hamilton to serve the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area market for e-commerce and meet tight deadlines. Hamilton is the largest express cargo airport in Canada, and the base of the cargo airline Cargojet.
Bathija says: “Hamilton International provides connectivity on regular scheduled flights to all major cities across the country, so any goods coming from outside Canada get efficiently distributed through Hamilton to all destinations in Canada.”
E-commerce has been the main growth area, and Bathija comments: “Many consumers order goods online from domestic and international locations and so airfreight is bound to grow further as consumers typically will only wait no more than a day or two for their order.”
Hamilton has also increased cool chain capacity, Bathija explains: “In June 2015, Hamilton International built a new 77,000 square foot Cargo Centre facility which is generating lot of new business. Hamilton International continues to work with tenants to address additional space requirements for future needs and plan these multi-year development projects.”
The main challenge in Canada is its size makes moving goods at low cost difficult and relatively small markets due to the low population density.
Despite this, Bathija says: “By being the largest express cargo airport with 24/7 uncongested facilities and having express cargo airlines based at Hamilton International, the airport offers opportunities to move goods efficiently and consequently at lower costs.”