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Success of Mercury Air Cargo's San Jose Operations Outpace Airport's Space Capacity in Record Time

Mercury Air CargoMercury Air Cargo's San Jose location has seen tremendous growth since commencing operations in April 2016. In late January alone, Mercury Air Cargo acquired three new clients…all on the same day!

American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and ANA Airways joined Mercury Air Cargo's supported group of carriers on January 24, taking the total number of carriers to eight.

"There's no one else to get in San Jose," said Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President John Peery. He explained that the only 3 other carriers are handled in-house by the airlines themselves, but this is just as well – Mercury's portion of the airport's allowed warehouse space has maxed out. Additionally, it is likely to be some time (a year or longer) before the San Jose airport authority would make any movements to build new facilities.

"San Jose is a very unique airport," Peery explained. It's location - 32 miles south of San Francisco – meant that it had typically been a transit airport, he said. "So if a carrier comes into San Jose, it's like an extension of San Francisco: freight would still go to San Francisco for processing," Peery said.

Traditionally, San Jose has not been a full-service airport for cargo, he said, but Mercury is helping to change that. "Before we came in, there was no customs services for cargo at San Jose," he said. "We've established that, and we have all necessary TSA equipment to provide full-service export traffic as well," Peery said.

"We're identifying that a lot of the customers that are coming, import-wise, are established in the East Bay or in San Jose… at the present time, those companies will move their cargo to San Francisco, get it consolidated, then it'll be trucked back down to San Jose for export," he said.

Also by selectively identifying the import customers who are in close proximity to Mercury's San Jose location, the company is able to notify those customers that they can save themselves the trip to San Francisco by picking up their cargo in San Jose directly, Peery said.

But there is a fine balance of having just the right number of customers with the given space: the warehouse is too small to be a fully commercial warehouse for Mercury Air Cargo's operation at San Jose.

Peery explained that currently, cargo traffic for export tends to originate out of LA, or San Francisco, where it has already been built before it arrives in San Jose for export.