While facing the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a drastic decline in passenger travel experienced globally, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport remains Canada’s largest domestic express cargo airport. As a gateway for facilitating goods movements across Canada and around the globe, the Airport offers safe and secure facilities for its 24/7 operation while partnering with key cargo companies such as Cargojet, DHL, UPS, Amazon, Canada Post and Purolator.
Hamilton International and its partners continue to work safely together so goods and essential supplies can reach the people that need them. With a growing demand for a variety of medical supplies and products needed during this crisis, air cargo shipments arriving from various international destinations into Canada are expedited thanks to an established express cargo operation at the Hamilton International Airport.
Since March 11, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, ecommerce and online sales in Canada have doubled. According to a survey of more than 30,000 Canadians by market research firm Numerator, almost three in ten people are shopping for items online that they normally would have bought in-store.
Owing to these two key areas of growth over the past month, the Airport has generated a 10% increase in cargo activity compared to the previous month. This marks a positive development in an otherwise challenging time for air travel globally. Hamilton International is committed to supporting its passenger airline partners as they temporarily scale back operations, and during the recovery period to come.
“In this evolving and changing environment, we commend all our partners in the passenger and cargo sectors for their resilience and exceptional commitment to both their operations and their teams. It is with great pride that we acknowledge the role that the Airport and its partners are playing during this crisis while supporting the supply chain for the City of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada” said Cathie Puckering, President and CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. Summarized here are recent activities:
On April 11, a B767 Cargojet flight landed in Hamilton from Shanghai (via Vancouver) with 75,000 pounds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers in Canada. Cargojet was selected by the federal government to operate supply flights from China to bring additional supplies back to Canada. Cargojet’s vast domestic network further connects the country from coast to coast and ensures goods are moving across Canada, including service into northern communities.
With goods arriving from over 220 countries around the world into DHL hubs in China, Germany and the US, Hamilton is an international gateway for DHL in Canada. As various countries that are in different stages of COVID-19, the supply chains and movement of goods may be impacted. One example is the re-opening of China challenged by aircraft availability to get stockpiles moving. While global trade continues, dedicated cargo carriers like DHL are also playing an expanded role in moving goods that were previously being moved by passenger airlines. Key items being moved globally are essential goods such as pharmaceuticals, medical goods and hospital supplies.
UPS The well recognized UPS courier is helping move critical medical supplies such as PPE destined for various locations. With China being closed first due to COVID-19, cargo volumes stockpiled and now carriers like UPS are working hard to catch up with the movement of these international shipments. The crisis also largely shut down the time-tested, brick-and-mortar retail model, yielding the spotlight to ecommerce. Now UPS is transforming to meet retailers’ digital needs in these disruptive times.
Amazon The Government of Canada signed an agreement with Amazon Canada on March 29 to manage the distribution of medical equipment like masks, gloves and ventilators purchased by the Canadian government to help in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Furthermore, the surge in online shopping has created longer than normal wait times for delivery as Amazon prioritized delivery of essential goods such as food, medicine, toilet paper and diapers ahead of non-essential orders. Amazon customers in Canada accustomed to Prime service have seen delivery times up to one month away while Amazon works to meet the need to deliver critical supplies.
Canada Post and Purolator
Purolator, which is 91% owned by Canada Post, is an express carrier and has global supply chain capability to source goods from the U.S. and Asia. The Purolator team is working 24/7 to keep the supply chain moving and its facilities at Hamilton International play a significant role in the supply chain management in Southern Ontario. Purolator was one of the companies that the federal government charged with the task of shipping half a million masks to hospitals across Canada.
Many invaluable frontline workers including those in the transportation and logistics sector should be most proud of the role they play during both the regular course of business and especially in critical moments like this. “Efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are unprecedented. The Airport is here to help, and our employees and partners are on the frontline to ensure trade continues through robust supply chain” continued Airport CEO Cathie Puckering., “We are very thankful to all Airport and cargo partner staff for their dedication to ensuring that critical cargo goods and supplies can reach the people that need them.”