Chicago Rockford beats own cargo-handling record in Q1 2020

By Rachelle Harry

Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) has announced that it handled more than 625m lbs of cargo in the first quarter of this year — the most that it has ever processed in a three-month period.

The hub explained that its first quarter figures reflect the cargo operations of RFD and its partners during the peak end-of-year holiday timeframe.

RFD said it handled 30% more cargo in the first quarter of 2020 than in the first quarter of the previous year, and that this performance was boosted by the presence of its partners, such as UPS and Amazon, who have recently been involved in the shipment of essential medical cargo required in the fight against Covid-19.

In light of this, RFD said that it will receive $18.6m to help it prepare for and respond to coronavirus-related disruption, as well as keeping supply chains moving and safeguarding its staff. The funding is part of the US Department of Transportation’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will see a total of $33m given to US airports amid the crisis.

Mike Dunn, executive director of RFD, commented: “Our investment in growing the airport’s cargo operations during the past several years has an exceptional return on investment in our region’s economic growth and ensuring – and growing – employment during this challenging time.”

RFD and its partners accredit their increased cargo-handling capability to the growth in growing their teams — from approximately 3,500 to 4,5000 members of staff.

In response to the CARES Act funding, Dunn said: “We want to thank Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos for their commitment to helping this funding pass. They have been ardent supporters of RFD and their dedication will ensure that we further enhance our operations to serve more businesses and individuals while continuing to serve our region as an economic driver.”

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