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World Airport Rankings 2010: Hong Kong eclipses Memphis as the world’s busiest cargo hub

16-Mar-2011

It’s official: Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is the world’s busiest cargo hub – ending Memphis International Airport’s 18-year reign at the top of the world rankings. HKIA’s rise to the top reflects surging exports from China’s Pearl River Delta, while Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific became the world’s largest international air cargo carrier last year, overtaking Korean Air.

HKIA's cargo volumes soared 23.1% year-on-year in 2010 to 4.17 million tonnes. Memphis, FedEx Corp’s main hub, reported a creditable 5.9% increase in cargo traffic to 3.9 million tonnes last year. Memphis has been the world’s busiest cargo airport since at least 1992. In 2009, Memphis Airport’s tonnage exceeded Hong Kong’s by slightly under 312,000 tonnes.

See related report: Hong Kong unveils Phase I of midfield development project. Becomes world’s largest freight airport

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority President Larry Cox, in a recent interview with The Commercial Appeal, confirmed that Memphis’ 18-year reign as the world's top cargo airport has ended, stating: “Nothing lasts forever”. Mr Cox stated the change represents a "global shift", adding that Hong Kong would have likely overtaken Memphis a couple of years earlier, had the global recession not slowed China's economic momentum. Separately, an AAHK spokesman commented: "The last five years, it's not been a question of if it was going to happen, but when. It took longer than we thought."

Worldwide cargo traffic rebounds in 2010

Worldwide cargo demand rose strongly by 15.2% last year, according to ACI, which produces the rankings. The freight recovery was “more coherent and comprehensive” than the passenger segment, according to the airports body. All regions showed a robust double-digit increase, led by Asia Pacific (+18.6%) and Europe (+17%). International freight was the driver of the air freight recovery as total tonnage jumped by 20.5% compared to 2009.

See CAPA's related World Airport Rankings 2010 reports:

Other than the change at the top of the cargo rankings, very little changed among the Top 30 cargo hubs last year. Paris CGD regained four places, to come in as 6th largest, while Louisville dropped four places to 10th.

Evolution of the world’s Top 10 cargo airports: 2001 to 2010

 

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

1

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Memphis

Hong Kong

2

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Memphis

3

Los Angeles

Anchorage

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo

Anchorage

Anchorage

Anchorage

Shanghai Pudong

Shanghai Pudong

Shanghai Pudong

4

Tokyo

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Anchorage

Anchorage

Tokyo

Incheon

Shanghai Pudong

Incheon

Incheon

Incheon

5

Seoul

Tokyo

Anchorage

Seoul

Seoul

Seoul

Tokyo

Incheon

Anchorage

Paris

Anchorage

6

New York

Miami

Seoul

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Paris

Shanghai Pudong

Paris

Paris

Anchorage

Paris

7

Anchorage

Frankfurt

Singapore

Paris

Paris

Frankfurt

Paris

Tokyo

Frankfurt

Louisville

Frankfurt

8

Frankfurt

Paris

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Los Angeles

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Tokyo

Dubai

Dubai

9

Singapore

Singapore

Paris

Miami

Singapore

Shanghai Pudong

Louisville

Louisville

Louisville

Frankfurt

Tokyo Narita

10

Miami

Louisville

Miami

Singapore

Miami

Singapore

Singapore

Miami

Singapore

Tokyo

Louisville

Beijing, which became the world’s second busiest passenger airport last year, actually dropped two places in the cargo rankings in 2010 to 16th, while Shanghai Pudong remained the 3rd busiest (with a 27.1% surge in volumes last year). Guangzhou remained 21st and Shenzhen rose three places to 27th busiest.

Atlanta replaced Dallas/Fort Worth in this year’s Top 30 cargo airports.

NB: Click on any of the airport names/codes in the table below to view detailed schedule and fares data, as well as news and analysis.

World’s Top 30 Airports by Cargo Tonnage: 2010

Airport

Cargo Metric Tonnes

% change

Rank 2010

Rank 2009

Change

Hong Kong (HKG)

4,168,394

23.2

1

2

+1

Memphis (MEM)

3,916,937

5.9

2

1

-1

Shanghai Pudong (PVG)

3,227,914

27.1

3

3

-

Incheon (ICN)

2,684,500

16.1

4

4

-

Anchorage (ANC)

2,578,396

33.1

5

5

-

Paris (CDG)

2,399,067

16.8

6

10

+4

Frankfurt (FRA)

2,275,106

20.5

7

8

+1

Dubai (DXB)

2,270,498

17.8

8

7

-1

Tokyo Narita (NRT)

2,167,843

17.1

9

9

-

Louisville (SDF)

2,166,226

11.1

10

6

-4

Singapore (SIN)

1,841,004

10.9

11

11

-

Miami (MIA)

1,835,793

17.9

12

12

-

Los Angeles (LAX)

1,810,345

15.5

13

13

-

Taipei (TPE)

1,767,075

30.1

14

15

+1

London Heathrow (LHR)

1,551,405

15

15

16

+1

Beijing (PEK)

1,549,126

5

16

14

-2

Amsterdam (AMS)

1,538,135

16.8

17

17

-

Chicago (ORD)

1,424,077

30

18

18

-

New York JFK (JFK)

1,343,114

17.4

19

19

-

Bangkok (BKK)

1,310,146

25.3

20

20

-

Guangzhou (CAN)

1,144,458

19.8

21

21

-

Indianapolis (IND)

947,279

5.2

22

22

-

Newark (EWR)

854,750

9.6

23

24

+1

Shenzhen (SZX)

809,363

33.6

24

27

+3

Tokyo Haneda (HND)

804,995

1.9

25

23

-2

Osaka (KIX)

759,278

24.7

26

26

-

Luxembourg (LUX)

705,370

12.2

27

25

-2

Kuala Lumpur (KUL)

697,015

15.6

28

29

+1

Mumbai (BOM)

671,238

18.5

29

30

+1

Atlanta (ATL)

659,129

17

30

31

+1


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