Portland International is about to get direct air cargo service to Asia again.
Cathay Pacific Airways announced Thursday it will be the third cargo company to try Portland in eight years.
“The importance of this new service to Portland cannot be overstated,” said Philippe Lacamp, a senior vice president at Cathay Pacific. “Cathay Pacific is in a prime position to link this economic hub of the Pacific Northwest to Hong Kong, one of the world’s key international airfreight hubs.”
It’s good news for companies like Columbia Sportswear, Nike and Intel, but also for local berry and sea food businesses. They’ve had to truck their produce to Seattle before flying it to Asia.
Cathay said it’s going to run two flights a week between Portland, Hong Kong, Anchorage and Los Angeles.
Trevor Abell with Oregon Berry Packing estimates a tray of blueberries that retails for the equivalent of $2 in Hong Kong will now cost 25 cents less.
“That’s for the tray,” Abell said. “If you equate it to the clam shell we’re talking 5 cents.”
“To the consumer, it may not be a huge effect. But with us, dealing with the customer directly, that’s going to be a quarter off for them, which could equate to maybe more sales.”
Cathay Pacific said it took a while to decide to come to Portland, but now it’s here to stay.