Hong Kong retains crown as world's top cargo airport

19 / 04 / 2017

Hong Kong retained its title as the world’s busiest air cargo airport in 2016 as the top 20 freight hubs saw demand increase by just over 3% (see end of article for table).

Airports Council International’s annual review of the world’s 20 leading cargo hubs showed that throughput increased by 3.3% last year to 47.4m metric tonnes, representing 44% of total airport freight demand.

“Air cargo markets experienced a revival in the second half of 2016. Despite the looming uncertainty regarding trade policies in the face of protectionist sentiments, heightened business confidence through inventory build-ups and increased export orders remained apparent for the short-term,” the airport body said.

Hong Kong maintained its crown as the world’s largest cargo hub with traffic increasing by 3.5% to 4.6m tonnes.

The fastest grower was Doha, which recorded an increase of 20.8% on a year earlier, propelling it four places to number 16 on the list.

In contrast, Anchorage in Alaska, which includes transit cargo in its figures, was the only of the top 20 to see demand decrease as it registered a 3.4% to 2.5m tonnes and slipped from fourth place to sixth.

Looking at the various regions, Memphis was the busiest North American airport for cargo taking second place overall, Dubai was the busiest in the Middle East in fifth place and Paris was busiest in Europe in ninth position.

Airports from South America and Africa failed to make the top 20.