Cargojet prepares to deliver unprecedented peak season with record volumes
Cargojet has announced comprehensive plans to handle record volumes for the upcoming peak season that typically started with Black Friday and will end in early January. This year’s peak season is particularly unique given the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 and the recent lock-downs in several parts of the country.
The surge in volumes that started in March/April of this year has already exceeded typical peak season volumes. With holiday shopping now shifting into high gear, and based on their customers’ forecasts the company expects to handle even greater volumes in the coming weeks. This peak is expected to be like none other.
According to Statistics Canada, e-commerce retail sales for March to September grew from $21.5 billion in 2019 to $36.2 b illion in 2020, a whopping $14.7 Billion or 68 per cent increase. This trend is expected to accelerate for the peak shopping season. The recent survey conducted by the largest national package delivery service showed that almost 80 per cent of Canadians shopped online in the past year and 48 per cent plan on spending mostly or exclusively online this holiday season. Given the increasing uncertainty around regional lock-downs, thousands of small businesses have shifted to on-line sales channels. According to one of the largest online merchant platforms, thousands of small businesses have opened online store-fronts for the first time and are eager to participate in the holiday season.
Cargojet is taking unprecedented measures to meet the expected surge in volumes. It took early measures to institute new processes including extra safety and hygiene measures to keep its employees, aircraft cabins and customer cargo safe. Those measures have proven extremely effective and have become the standard operating procedure all across its network. The company is also adding additional pilots, ground handling staff, and maintenance teams to ensure that their network continues to perform at peak performance. Cargojet has also introduced two additional B767-300F aircraft into service in 2020 and most recently on November 9, 2020 to meet peak season growth demands. The company has also introduced additional flights each Friday, Saturday and Sunday and during the daytime, creating approximately 20 per cent additional capacity. This has improved utilisation of their existing aircraft fleet. Last but not the least, it has Introduced hourly, and daily monitoring of customer volumes through our 24/7 control room at our Hamilton National hub.