Cargojet preparing for record holiday hauls with more pilots, planes

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Cargojet Inc. says it is preparing for record levels of online shopping over the holidays as Canadians buy gifts digitally during restrictions at brick-and-mortar stores, and is taking unprecedented measures to try to keep package deliveries on time.

The Mississauga-based company says it is hiring additional pilots and staff, and added a new plane to its fleet this month for the second time this year.

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Cargojet says it has also added flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to build up 20 per cent more capacity for packages, a schedule that will continue during the peak shopping season from Black Friday to early January.

The air cargo company says that when stores closed for the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April, cargo volumes easily surpassed levels that are usually only seen at the peak of the year — the holiday season.

Now, Cargojet is predicting that volume this winter will top the spring, given that thousands of small businesses have opened online stores, and there is another wave of uncertainty around regional lockdowns.

Statistics Canada also said this week that online sales are set to hit a record this year in Canada, topping 2019’s tally of $305 billion, after e-commerce doubled from February to May.

"This peak is expected to be like none other," Cargojet said on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX: CJT)

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