Cargo volumes rise at Melbourne

Photo: Jaromir Chalabala/ Shutterstock

Melbourne Airport has staked a claim as Australia’s biggest airfreight hub as it reported cargo volumes in the first quarter of the year that amounted to 40% of the country’s total airfreight export volume.

Belly capacity drove up cargo exports out of the airport, with the most valuable export being pharma.

“In the first three months of 2024, Australia’s largest curfew-free airport facilitated the export of 44,700 tonnes of local cargo, which represents 40.2% of the nation’s total air-freight export volume,” said the airport in a press release.

Data from Maritrade shows the top product exported from Melbourne Airport by volume was fresh meat, with 15,649 tonnes exported, said the airport.

The most valuable export was pharmaceutical products, with more than Aus$258.4m worth of locally made goods sent overseas.

Much of this cargo was delivered in the belly of passenger planes, highlighting the value of Melbourne Airport’s partnership with the Victorian Government to grow international airline capacity.

Melbourne Airport chief of aviation Jim Parashos said the cargo data highlighted the significant role the airport plays in the success of Victorian industry.

“These figures represent thousands of jobs right across the state, in farms, factories and cutting-edge laboratories,” he said.

“It underlines the importance of the airport’s curfew-free operations for Victoria, with the average daily international flight worth $154 million to the state economy.

“Every new airline, route or increase in frequency we can bring to Melbourne Airport represents jobs right around our state because of the extra cargo capacity it enables.

“To ensure Melbourne Airport has sufficient capacity to cater for the state’s growing population and support our key industries, Melbourne Airport submitted a plan for a third runway to the Federal Government in February 2023.”


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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]