Express shipments are the rhythm of the night

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

With 24/7 uncongested operations, John C Munro Hamilton International Airport is well placed to attract more e-commerce traffic, says marketing and communications director Dina Carlucci.

Hamilton is Canada’s largest overnight express cargo airport, and has experienced strong growth over the past few years. In 2018, cargo volumes increased by 5% over 2017, and were 20% higher than in 2016.

Carlucci says: “This steady growth confirms that Hamilton International continues to be a global gateway for facilitating goods movements across Canada and the globe, thanks to solid partnerships with Cargojet, DHL, UPS and Purolator.”

The airport is continuing to perform well this year, with volumes up 3.3% year-to-date.

Carlucci comments: “Hamilton International expects cargo growth to extend through the remainder of the year and continue the trend we’ve seen over the last three years of year-over-year growth of cargo activity.”

Operating 24/7 makes Hamilton attractive for carriers moving time sensitive goods from the growing e-commerce sector.

Carlucci says: “The airport’s cargo operations also support local manufacturers, suppliers and businesses that rely on air cargo transportation services, particularly for commodities that are higher value and time sensitive, such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals or perishables.”

In a 24-hour period, Hamilton can expect 15 large cargo movements, of which nine will be at night and the other six during the day. This is important to the local economy, being worth C$386 million annually to regional gross domestic product.

Located 40 miles southwest of Toronto at the west end of Lake Ontario, most of the cargo travelling through the airport originates or is destined for the local area.

Carlucci adds: “Hamilton International is also a critical waypoint facilitating the movement of goods across the country, into remote northern communities and across the border into the United States.”

To ensure the airport is able to cope with continued growth, an Airfield Rehabilitation and Modernisation Project started on 6 August to restore the two main runways, supporting taxiways and lighting systems over the next four years.

This will improve efficiency, reliability and safety of airport operations and allow Hamilton to accommodate larger wide-body aircraft.

Runway 12-30, the primary runway will be strengthened to facilitate current and future heavy freighter traffic. Instrument landing and low visibility systems will be rehabilitated.

The secondary runway, 06-24 will also receive investments to improve efficiency. Taxiways will be upgraded to cope with growing 24/7 operations and LED lighting technology will be implemented, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carlucci says: “These airport projects will create more than 350 construction jobs, with an additional 863 full-time jobs to be created over the next five years, representing an additional C$149 million in labour income. The airport anticipates that the investment will facilitate approximately C$2.1 billion in economic activity annually.”

E-commerce is rapidly growing globally, and Canada is no exception. It is predicted to represent 10% of total retail spending in 2019, valued at C$50 billion.

Carlucci says: “Hamilton International is well positioned to support this booming industry with its large cargo facilities that operate 24/7, enabling companies to meet the tight deadlines that e-commerce demands.”