12-3-12 St. Louis Business Journal
by Joe Dwyer
The Midwest China Hub Commission and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics will work together on the next steps to make Lambert-St. Louis International Airport a center for Chinese airfreight connections.
On Dec. 1, in Shanghai during a trade mission trip, the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding to work together.
Under the agreement, the China Hub Commission and the ASTL have committed to working together on establishing new airfreight routes between St. Louis and China; hosting and coordinating inbound and outbound transportation; organizing logistics and supply chain management delegation visits; and boosting trade between the United States and China.
The China Hub Commission is in China this week as part of the trade mission led by the World Trade Center St. Louis, former Sen. Kit Bond and Kit Bond Strategies, and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. The delegation, including representatives from more than a dozen businesses and two universities, has met with Chinese leaders in Hangzhou and Shanghai and will continue the trade mission in Nanjing and Beijing.
Formed in 2009, the focus of the Midwest-China Hub Commission is to develop cargo service routes to China and other international markets.
In September 2011, a weekly cargo flight from Shanghai to St. Louis began. The following month, the Aerotropolis Trade Incentive and Tax Credit Act, containing incentives to support the China Hub initiative, fell apart in the Missouri legislature. Shortly thereafter, China Cargo Airlines began canceling scheduled air cargo flights to Lambert.
This new agreement is that latest step in an effort to re-establish a hub at Lambert.
“For years stakeholders across the State, on both sides of the aisle, in the private and public sectors, have worked together to turn the ‘Big Idea’ into reality,” said Kit Bond, Chairman of Kit Bond Strategies, in a statement. “Forging a partnership with the shippers, carriers, and other members up and down the supply chain key to moving Missouri products to China is critical progress.”