Air Freight News

WestJet Cargo and Flexport collaborate to streamline Canadian exports and spur regional growth

Nov 16, 2023

Under the agreement, Flexport will ship Canadian exports to key Asia hubs via its existing dedicated freighter network

Today, WestJet Cargo announced a new agreement with Flexport, the global leader in supply chain technology, to offer new airfreight solutions for Canadian exports into Asia.

Under the unique agreement, WestJet Cargo will deliver Canadian cargo to O’Hare International Airport (ORD), where Flexport operates dedicated freighters from the U.S. to key air freight hubs in Asia, including Incheon International Airport (ICN), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), effectively expanding the global reach for WestJet Cargo and their customers. Given the surge in demand for Canadian products in key Asian markets, particularly perishables like seafood, WestJet Cargo and Flexport’s comprehensive solution meets the needs of customers in Halifax and the surrounding regions at a pivotal time.

"We’re thrilled to collaborate with WestJet Cargo to provide a creative, dependable air freight solution for Canadian exporters looking for greater access to Asian markets,” said Neel Jones Shah, EVP of Global Key Accounts and Chief Customer Officer. “Our collaboration with WestJet Cargo is the latest example in Flexport’s mission to make global commerce so easy there’ll be more of it; by creating a fast lane for Canadian exporters to move their goods, we can break down global trade barriers and boost export volumes for these producers.”

"This partnership with Flexport opens new doors for WestJet Cargo, and reinforces our commitment to our customers and Canadian economic growth. Together, we offer cutting-edge logistics solutions to meet the growing demand from Canadian exporters to Asia, particularly with regards to our valuable perishable cargo. Using ORD as a connection point, we are seamlessly able to transfer cargo within a matter of hours, further ensuring the freshness and integrity of key Canadian perishable exports," says Kirsten De Bruijn, Executive Vice-President, Cargo at WestJet Cargo

Key Highlights of the Partnership:

1.Connect Canada to Asia: The primary objective of this partnership is to link Canada to Asia for exports, and boost Canadian trade opportunities.

2.Halifax and the Maritime Regions: This collaboration will particularly benefit Halifax and the Maritime provinces, renowned for their thriving seafood exports where there are limited direct options into Asia.

3.Vancouver Cherry Flights: WestJet Cargo will also introduce seasonal flights from Vancouver, British Columbia, to transport cherries to Incheon, and expand the reach of Canadian agricultural products to connect into Asia via Flexport’s network

4.Perishable Cargo: The partnership will initially prioritize the transportation of perishable goods, with an emphasis on maintaining their freshness.

5.Opportunities for Specialized and High-Value Commodities: As the collaboration evolves, WestJet Cargo and Flexport will explore opportunities to expand into specialized and high-value commodities.

6.Innovative Handling Solutions: Flexport's innovative solutions, which includes tail-to-tail transfers at ORD to minimize transit times and preserve perishable cargo integrity, makes them the ideal collaborator for WestJet Cargo.

The collaboration began in July 2023. WestJet Cargo and Flexport will continue to explore opportunities to expand the agreement into additional destination airports in Asia and gateways at origin. WestJet Cargo and Flexport are excited about the prospects this collaboration offers for Canadian businesses and look forward to contributing to the growth of Canadian exports to Asia.

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