Sri Lankan Cargo Company Adds Service to Pittsburgh Airport

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Expo Freight, a Sri Lanka-based freight forwarder, is making Pittsburgh International Airport a cargo distribution point in conjunction with service from Qatar Airways Cargo.

Expo Freight will use one of Qatar Airways Cargo’s two weekly Boeing 777 freighters into Pittsburgh. The company’s first 90-ton shipment was in May. 

“As Pittsburgh strives to make additional connections to the global marketplace, this is a big step along that path,” said Rich Fitzgerald, an Allegheny County executive, in a statement. “The success of Qatar Airways and the partnership with EFL strengthens our ability to attract manufacturing and distribution to the airport.” 

As Qatar Airways Cargo nears its two-year anniversary in Pittsburgh, the cargo route received a significant boost with Expo Freight committing to shipping its goods through Pittsburgh International Airport. 

“We are planting the seeds for manufacturing, distribution, logistics and connectivity in the global marketplace,” Fitzgerald said. 

The service offers customers in Asia a solution for a 72-hour transit time from the Asia-Pacific region to regional distribution centers and retail stores in the United States. Pittsburgh’s location midway between Chicago and New York offers convenient access to two of the largest air cargo markets in the country and many markets in between. 

“Our goal is to build Pittsburgh into an international logistics center and with partners like Qatar Airways Cargo and EFL, that goal is becoming a reality,” said CEO Christina Cassotis of Pittsburgh International Airport. “They’re choosing to use our region as a gateway. That means jobs and business for our region.”

The Qatar Airways Cargo flights to Pittsburgh provides $42.8 million of annual economic output for the Pittsburgh region, supporting 265 additional jobs within the region according to a study performed by the Economic Development Research Group in 2018. 

“Our freighter services to Pittsburgh are doing extremely well and help connect global markets to the region while also offering business in Pennsylvania direct uplift to our growing cargo network,” said Peter Penseel, Qatar Airways vice president in cargo sales and network planning. 

“Through our collaboration with EFL, their customers in the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia benefit from innovative and faster supply chain solutions and dedicated capacity of more than 100 tonnes each week to regional distribution centers and retail stores in the United States Using Pittsburgh as a gateway,” he added. 

Qatar Airways Cargo began operating twice-weekly freighters into Pittsburgh International Airport in October 2017, marking the 17th destination in the Americas for Qatar Airways Cargo at the time. It is the first scheduled international freighter route for the airport. 

“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,” said Group CEO, Senthil Shanmugam, of EFL. “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.” 

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