Chinese logistics company EHL International Logistics signed an agreement on 9 November with Edmonton International Airport (EIA) to develop a logistics hub at the Canadian gateway.
EHL will make the facility its new North American logistics consolidation centre for goods, including e-commerce, moving between China and North America.
EHL, a subsidiary of the Henan Provincial Government, will operate its North American flights from Zhengzhou, Henan to Edmonton, and continue to the US mainland. Trial Boeing 747-400 flights through Edmonton are already underway, in preparation for an expanded freighter schedule.
EHL president, Ziqiang Ma said: “Henan is a key link to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and EHL is committed to develop trade links between China, Canada, and USA through our distribution centre in Edmonton.
“We chose Edmonton because of the ideal location, logistics infrastructure and strong partnerships with EIA and Maple Horizons. We believe that through this, we can increase trade and cooperation between China and North America.
“EHL is grateful for the partnership with Edmonton International Airport and Maple Horizons, and the support of the municipal governments of Zhengzhou and Edmonton, the provincial governments of Henan and Alberta.”
The development is latest addition to EIA’s Airport City – a growing business and innovation hub that propels new jobs, tourism and economic diversification, and creates a destination in and around EIA. Industries include entertainment, e-commerce, retail, hospitality, cargo/logistics, bio-pharma, light manufacturing and many other industries.
EIA president and chief executive officer, Tom Ruth said: “We welcome EHL to EIA’s Airport City and the new construction investment, jobs and trade opportunities it brings to the Edmonton Metro Region and Alberta.
“This significant agreement builds from EIA’s strong track record of driving successful trade and commerce between China and North America, solidifying EIA as a major international trade hub.”
The city of Zhengzhou is the provincial capital of Henan Province. Henan Province is the State Government of China’s pilot zone for cross border e-commerce. Over 70 per cent of China’s air-cargo perishables move through the province of over 100 million people. Zhengzhou is located within two hours of one billion people.
EIA’s partners Edmonton Global, Western Economic Diversification, the Government of Alberta (Economic Development and Trade) and Airport Accord partners – the City of Edmonton, Leduc County and the City of Leduc – have been actively developing EIA as a leading North American transportation and logistics hub for the movement of e-commerce and other goods to and from China.
One of EIA’s many advantages for this type of business is its Foreign Trade Zone designation, which reduces trade barriers and enhances access to Canadian markets.
Key sectors set to benefit from the EHL-EIA partnership are agri-food and manufacturing. Maple Horizons is a successful Canadian company active in the cross-border e-commerce market in China and has acted as a critical catalyst for the partnership.
For small and medium-sized companies, like Maple Horizons, the hub at EIA will accelerate access to and from China-Canada markets through global e-commerce.
Maple Horizons president, William Wang said Edmonton is the ideal location for expanding air cargo business between China and North America due to its geography, local expertise in transportation and logistics, and government leadership.