As the closest major North American city to Asia, transpacific traffic is very important to Vancouver, which has broken cargo targets years earlier than planned.
Jason Tse, manager commercial leasing – cargo of Vancouver Airport Authority says the airport in British Columbia handled more than 338,000 tonnes of cargo in 2018, 8.1% more than 2017, reaching the 2020 target two years early.
So far this year, Tse says cargo has increased slightly and that some recovery is expected in the second half of the year.
The range of cargo passing through Vancouver airport varies from prized British Columbia fruit and seafood to high-tech products and other items.
The US and China remain the top trading partners while other important markets include Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, the UK and Germany.
Vancouver’s Pacific coast location is also an advantage, added to being very closed to the US border.
Tse says: “YVR is well-positioned to facilitate exchange between Asia and the North American marketplace. We have easy access to North American highways, a dedicated truck border crossing and proximity to the Vancouver Harbour. This means efficient, low-cost, sea-to-air and air-to-ground cargo transfers.”
Growth is expected to be limited in 2019, but the outlook for Vancouver remains positive.
Tse says: “As Canada is the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with all other G7 countries, there are opportunities to increase international trade, which allows for growth in air eligible commodities.”
Tse sees Vancouver remaining a significant market to reach global destinations, with its links to Asia and Europe.
He says: “It is close to highways and a 25-minute drive to the US border. There are five major border crossings between the Greater Vancouver Region and the US, while bilateral agreements between Canada and the US provide easy access to all major North American markets.”