Incheon Airport to benefit from e-commerce boom and invest in cargo

Photo: Incheon International Airport

Incheon International Airport expects to benefit from a large-scale global distribution centre (GDC) for e-commerce that is due to be built in the Incheon Airport Free Economic Zone in August.

When the GDC is completed, it is expected to generate approximately 8,000 tons of cargo and about 240 new jobs. The project will cost approximately $28m.

Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) said that the Incheon Free Economic Zone, which includes the Incheon Airport Logistics Complex and cargo terminal areas, provides customers with a more competitive environment through convenient customs procedures, tariff benefits, and various incentives.

In April 2005, 2,093,000 sq m were designated as a free trade zone, followed by the expansion of the first airport logistics complex by 922,000 sq m in December 2007, and the designation of a new second airport logistics complex of 326,000 sq m in April 2020.

There are 40 logistics companies and two manufacturing companies in the airport logistics complex, and those tenants are guaranteed free manufacturing, logistics, and trade activities, as well as receiving low rent and tariff deferral benefits.

The airport is also focusing on investing in cargo terminals to support cargo airlines, and building up pharma and cold chain business.

An official from IIAC said: “We will make every effort to become the best in the world not only in the passenger sector but also in the air cargo sector. To achieve this, we are pursuing a business of expanding cargo terminals of world-renowned airlines, such as FedEx and UPS, at Incheon Airport, actively attracting global shipping centers of logistics companies in the free trade zone of nearly 600,000 square meters to secure cargo volume and planning to have dedicated terminals for fresh cargo such as semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.”

The Incheon International Airport Community, including Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, and DB Schenker Korea, obtained IATA CEIV Pharma certification in June 2019 and was recertified in September 2022.

In addition, the Incheon International Airport Community, consisting of IIAC, Asiana Airlines, LX Pantos, and Seoul Airport Cargo, also obtained certification for IATA CEIV Fresh in November 2022.

Incheon Airport became the fourth airport in the world to obtain certification, following Hong Kong, Oman, and Changi airports. 

IIAC is in the process of obtaining IATA CEIV Lithium Battery (CEIV Li-Batt) Certification.

As of December 2022, Incheon Airport’s cargo-only routes are connected to 107 cities in 43 countries through 25 airlines. The destinations are divided by region, including 20 in China, six in Japan, 10 in Southeast Asia, 27 in North America, 5 in Central and South America, and 18 in Europe. 

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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]