Seattle Welcomes Two New Air Cargo Services in a Week

B747F NIPPON CARGO SEATTLEThe Port of Seattle gained another air freighter carrier to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) on June 20 – the second in a week – as Nippon Cargo Airlines began new seasonal Boeing 747-8 freighter service to Tokyo, Japan.
Nippon Cargo Airlines’ freighter will initially call on Sea-Tac four times in early summer to transport up to 134 metric tons per flight, primarily for Washington cherries, a highly anticipated product in Asia.  The airport says more flights may follow during the Pacific Northwest cherry season, which typically extends through August.
It adds that its rapid growth in air cargo tonnage – as evidenced by the new freighter services – underscores the importance of its two new airfield construction projects designed to improve cargo infrastructure at Sea-Tac.
Seattle air freight with Asia has reached record levels, surpassing 62,000 metric tons in 2013.  In the first five months of 2014, air cargo with Asia increased 33%.
“Nippon Cargo Airlines’ freighter service to Tokyo is significant for our region and contributes to economic vitality through supporting job growth in agriculture, aviation and the supply chain industries,” said Port Air Cargo Manager Tom Green. “Sea-Tac’s air cargo service to Asia continues to expand rapidly, and we look forward to developing our relationship with Nippon Cargo Airlines as markets continue to flourish.”
Nippon Cargo Airlines’ new service also marks the first time in ten years that a dedicated freighter aircraft will transport goods to Japan.  Northwest Airlines, the last carrier to operate freighter service from Sea-Tac to Japan, stopped freighter operations in 2004.  In the interim, companies have transported direct Japan-bound cargo in the belly of passenger aircraft, limiting the overall amount, and size, of freight.