Top German cargo hubs see cargo volumes slide in 2023

Source: Fraport

Leading German cargo hubs Frankfurt and Leipzig/Halle both saw their cargo volumes fall in 2023 as the economic conditions put pressure on the market.

Germany’s busiest cargo airport, Frankfurt, saw cargo throughput comprising airfreight and airmail decline 3.9% year on year to 1.9m tons. Compared with pre-Covid 2019 volumes were down 9.3%.

The airport said that the demand decline reflected airspace restrictions across Europe and a sluggish economy resulting from global geopolitical uncertainties.   

Airport operator Fraport chief executive Stefan Schulte said: “2023 was yet another challenging year for the aviation industry, particularly in Europe.

“In addition to the ongoing war in Ukraine, airspace restrictions were also imposed because of the ‘Air Defender’ NATO exercise conducted in Germany.

“The complex and interconnected system of international air traffic was also disrupted by a number of strikes throughout 2023, including walkouts by French air traffic controllers.”

Meanwhile, cargo-focused Leipzig/Halle Airport saw its cargo volumes in 2023 decline by 7.7% to 1.4m tonnes.

“This development was due to the global economic situation, which inhibited growth, as well as wars and international conflicts,” the airport’s operator said in a press release.

The airport pointed out that its volumes had swelled between 2019 and 2022 due to the pandemic, growing 22% over that time frame.

The volume in 2023 was more than 12% higher than the figure for 2019.

“This growth was sustained by record demand during the pandemic when supply chains were negatively affected by the closure of borders.” 

Future of Leipzig/Halle cargo hub under scrutiny

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]