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For the fastest transit time between Da Chan Bay and the Sri Lankan hub port of Colombo is China Shipping offers an 8-day service.

China Shipping's AMX 2 service departs from Da Chan Bay every Thursday and arrives the following Friday.

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Today's Feature


Seattle story: City of timber, fish and software proves to be a cargo player via Sea-Tac


WHEN the conversation turns to US west coast hubs, most forwarders, carriers and passengers think of LAX, San Francisco or San Diego, writes Linda Ball in Air Cargo World.

But what about Seattle - that place of timber, fish and software? While the Emerald City is known worldwide for such mega-retailers as Starbucks Coffee, Microsoft, Costco and Amazon, those brands are only headquartered in Seattle.

Their products are shipped worldwide from far-away factories, warehouses and distribution centres. In fact, one might say Seattle's leading exports are intellectual capital and empty freighters rolling off the Boeing assembly lines.

But Seattle is slowly changing into a relatively robust air cargo hub, with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (or Sea-Tac, as it is commonly known) seeing new carriers and new faces gracing its runways and corridors.

The Port of Seattle, which runs the airport, said that cargo shipments are on the rise, with a 21.5 per cent jump in international freight tonnage from 2013 to 2014 at the airport.

Through the end of July this year, cargo volume was up 4.5 per cent, year-over-year, compared to the same time frame in 2014. Sea-Tac now ranks 19th in air cargo volume in North America and is the third-largest airport for inter­national cargo on the west coast, excluding Alaska. This is not the wild Northwest anymore.

So, what's driving all this cargo growth? In short, Seattle has benefited from a battle over passenger market share by two major US carriers: Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines. Seeking a hub of its own for the lucrative transpacific market, Delta has been expanding its route network out of Sea-Tac and is now engaged in an all-out turf war with Alaska. Delta now operates flights on 25 of the 78 routes that Alaska flies out of Sea-Tac, up from only five in 2012.

On the Asian trade routes, Delta changed the game in Seattle, offering daily flights - all carrying belly cargo - to multiple Asian destinations. As a result, Delta's cargo tonnage at Sea-Tac is up 19.3 per cent year to date year on year, at about 9,800 tonnes.

But Korean Air has just a bit of an edge, with more than 10,000 tonnes, year to date, and the biggest market share at 19.5 per cent, over Delta's 18.8 per cent.

Tom Green, senior manager air cargo development for Sea-Tac, said Korean has a daily freighter run into the airport. Other Asian carriers with more than a 10 per cent share of the Seattle market include All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines and China Airlines.


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