Sri Lanka-based freight forwarder EFL is giving Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) a boost as it commits to making the airport its key US East Coast and Midwest cargo distribution gateway in conjunction with a Qatar Cargo.
As reported by AsiaCargoBuzz.com last month, the forwarder made its first weekly 90-tonne shipment with Qatar in May. EFL is now capitalising on one of Qatar’s two weekly B777 freighters into Pittsburgh.
“Today’s announcement continues moving the airport corridor forward as a manufacturing and distribution hub,” Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald says. “As Pittsburgh strives to make additional connections to the global marketplace, this is a big step along that path.
“The success of Qatar Airways, and the partnership with EFL, strengthens our ability to attract manufacturing and distribution to the airport. We are planting the seeds for manufacturing, distribution, logistics and connectivity in the global marketplace. We are excited to see it bear much fruit in the years to come, and to see the growth of jobs in these areas continue,” Fitzgerald adds.
The Doha to Pittsburgh service offers its customers in Asia a solution for 72-hour transit time from the Asia-Pacific region to regional distribution centers and retail stores in the US. Pittsburgh’s location midway between Chicago and New York offers convenient access to two of the largest air cargo markets in the US and many markets in between, according to the airport.
“Our goal is to build Pittsburgh into an international logistics centre and with great partners like Qatar Airways Cargo and EFL, that goal is becoming a reality,” Pittsburgh International Airport CEO Christina Cassotis says. “This is cargo that used to enter into the US through major airports such as New York and Chicago but instead they’re choosing to use our region as a gateway. That means jobs and business for our region,” she adds.
Pittsburgh International Airport’s close proximity to major North American cities and efficiency for operations has provided Qatar Airways Cargo and EFL an improved experience for shipping global air freight, according to the airport.
Qatar Airways senior vice president Cargo Sales and Network Planning Peter Penseel says: “We see the Americas as an important cargo market. Our freighter services to Pittsburgh are doing extremely well and help connect global markets to the region while also offering businesses in Pennsylvania direct uplift to our growing cargo network.
“Through our collaboration with EFL, their customers in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia benefit from innovative and faster supply chain solutions and dedicated capacity of more than 100 tonnes each week to regional distribution centres and retail stores in the United States using Pittsburgh as a gateway,” he adds.
Qatar Airways Cargo began operating twice-weekly scheduled B777 freighters into PIT in October 2017, marking the 17th destination in the Americas for Qatar Airways Cargo at the time, and is the first scheduled international freighter route for PIT.
EFL’s Group chief executive officer Senthil Shanmugam adds: “At EFL, it has been a constant pursuit to find efficient and innovative solutions for our customers, which has led us to this initiative with Qatar Airways Cargo, with whom we have a relationship for over a decade.
“Considering EFL’s spread of seven offices in USA, of which five of them being in East Coast and Midwest, having a gateway that is accessible to these regions was important. Pittsburgh is a logical location for this operation as it allows us to have a fast turnover of cargo in comparison to more traditional and congested gateways. We’re grateful to the Allegheny County Airport Authority for assisting us with facilitating this effort.”