Ho-Ho-Ho Heathrow heads for record December

Heathrow management is forecasting that up to 132,000 tonnes of cargo will pass through the airport this December, an increase of 3% over same month last year and a new airfreight record for December since 1991 at the London hub .
With shoppers rushing to get their last minute presents ahead of this weekend’s international postage deadline, Heathrow has given a flavour of the likely goods transitting the UK gateway by releasing new data on the seasonal exports and imports in 2015.
Fresh salmon was the single biggest export by weight, totalling 2,980 tonnes in December 2015 alone.
Said the airport management in a statement: “Other Christmas staples, including knitted and crocheted items, dairy products including clotted cream, and books were among the airport’s most popular exports by weight for the month, totalling 2,558 tonnes altogether in December 2015. While not in the list of top ten exports overall, exports of whiskey jumped up by 76% – or 128 tonnes – from November to December 2015.
“At the same time, vital components of a festive feast are flown in from all over the world – including 1,680 tonnes of fresh berries, primarily cranberries from Chile, 839 tonnes of lamb, mostly from New Zealand, and 830 tonnes of peas, mostly from Guatemala. 
“Popular presents including books, and pullovers were the most popular Heathrow import commodities by weight last December, and are expected to be again in 2016.”
The top five UK export commodities by value expected to go through the airport this Christmas are (based on trends in December):
  • Parts of aircraft & aircraft turbo engines – (in December 2015, the value of these was £281 million)
  • Aircraft turbojets – (in December 2015, the value of these was £212m)
  • Vaccines for human medicine – (in December 2015, the value of these was £160m)
  • Medicine, measured doses or for retail sale – (in December 2015, the value of these was £130m)
  • Paintings – (in December 2015, the value of these was £113m)
Three of the top five Christmas export destinations at Heathrow (based on value in December 2015) are to fast growing economies in Asia:
  • US – £929m
  • Hong Kong – £849m
  • China – £730m
  • UAE – £238m
  • Japan – £151m
In total, Heathrow has seen 1,407,561 tonnes of cargo go through the airport from January to November this year, an increase of almost 3% over the same period last year.
Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow Airport, said: “We may be a long way from the North Pole, but the figures today underline Heathrow’s vital part in delivering Christmas to the UK, and the British Christmas to the world. Of course, our standing agreement with Santa Claus remains and we’ll prioritise his landing clearance come Christmas Eve.” 
All figures exclude EU27 & Switzerland. Source: UK Tradeinfo, Seabury Group, Heathrow analysis.

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