The top 10 busiest airports in the world by cargo handled

In this article, we review which airports handled the largest amount of cargo by metric tonne that passed through the airport in 2022, with consideration for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top 20 busiest airports in the world by cargo handled

The following list is based on figures from Airports Council International (ACI) and displays the top 10 airports in order of tonnes of cargo handled in 2022. Figures are calculated by totalling all loaded and unloaded freight and mail at each airport throughout the course of the year.

This article was updated on 13 April 2023, based on figures published on 05 April 2023.

1. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)Hong Kong International Airport reports steady passenger growth

The world’s busiest airport for 10 consecutive years in a row, now falls to second place. Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport for the region and handled almost half a million tonnes more than its closest competitor airport in 2019.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 4,199,196

Compared to 2021: 16.4% decrease

2. Memphis International Airport (MEM)

Memphis International Airport

A civil-military airport, Memphis International Airport is home to the FedEx Express global hub, which processes the majority of the company’s packages, subsequently resulting as the highest positioned airport on the list.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 4,042,679

Compared to 2021: 9.8% decrease

3. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)

Named after a U.S senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is equidistant from Tokyo and New York, meaning it is situated less than 9.5 hours from 90 per cent of the industrial world.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 3,461,603

Compared to 2021: 4.3% decrease

4. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

One of two international airports in the region, Shanghai Pudong International

Shanghai Pudong

Airport is a major hub in the Chinese aviation industry, serving predominantly international flights. 

Tonnes of cargo handled: 3,117,216

Compared to 2021: 21.7% decrease


5. Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF)

A civil-military airport located in Kentucky, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is home to a major UPS hub and is one of the most significant cargo facilities in the U.S.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 3,067,234

Compared to 2021: 0.5% increase


6. Incheon International Airport (ICN)

Seoul Incheon

The largest airport in South Korea, Incheon International Airport is one of the main transport hubs in Northeast Asia and is the national gateway to the Republic of Korea.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,945,855

Compared to 2021: 11.5% decrease

7. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport


Acting as the main international airport for Taipei and northern Taiwan, Taiwan Taoyuan, is Asia’s best-connected and gateway airport for cargo handling.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,538,768

Compared to 2021: 9.7% decrease

8. Miami International Airport (MIA)Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport is the primary airport serving the greater Miami metropolitan area with over 1,000 daily flights to 167 domestic and international destinations, including most countries in Latin America.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,499,837

Compared to 2021: 0.8% decrease

9. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX is a major cargo airport, serving Southern California and partnering with Asia-Pacific to deliver thousands of tonnes of cargo. 

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,489,854

Compared to 2021: 7.6%% decrease

10. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

Originally known as ‘New Tokyo International Airport’, Narita International Airport is one of two international airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area, the other one being Haneda Airport.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,399,298

Compared to 2021: 9.3% decrease

Passenger numbers

To view the top 10 busiest airports in the world by passenger number – click here.

Aircraft movements

To view the top 10 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements – click here.

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