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The top 20 busiest airports in the world by cargo handled

Posted: 20 January 2020 | | No comments yet

In this article, we review which airports handled the largest amount of cargo by metric tonne that passed through the airport in 2019.

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 20 airports in order of tonnes of cargo handled in 2019. 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 5 June 2020, based on figures published on 19 May 2020.

Hong Kong International1. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

The world’s busiest airport for 10 consecutive years in a row, 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: 4,809,485

Compared to 2018: 6.1 per cent decrease

Memphis International Airport2. Memphis International Airport (MEM)

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 in such a high position in the list for the airport.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 4,322,740

Compared to 2018: 3.3 per cent decrease

Shanghai Pudong3. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

One of two international airports in the region, Shanghai Pudong International Airport is a major hub in the Chinese aviation industry, serving predominantly international flights. 

Tonnes of cargo handled: 3,634,230

Compared to 2018: 3.6 per cent decrease

4. 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: 2,790,109

Compared to 2018: 6.4 per cent increase

Seoul Incheon5. Incheon International Airport (ICN)

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: 2,764,369

Compared to 2018: 6.4 per cent decrease

6. 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: 2,745,348

Compared to 2018: 2.2 per cent decrease

Dubai International DXB7. Dubai International Airport (DXB)

Dubai International Airport is the primary international airport serving Dubai and is used as a service hub for the majority of local airlines.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,514,918

Compared to 2018: 4.8 per cent decrease

8. Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH)

The sole international airport in the state of Qatar, Doha Hamad International Airport is operated by Qatar Airways and rapidly becoming an increasingly important aviation hub.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,215,804

Compared to 2018: 0.8 per cent increase

9. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

One of four international airports in the region, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is the largest and busiest, serving Taipei and northern Taiwan.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,182,342

Compared to 2018: 6.1 per cent decrease

10. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

Formerly known as New Tokyo International Airport, Narita International Airport serves the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,104,063

Compared to 2018: 6.9 per cent decrease

Paris Charles De Gaulle11. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Named after a former French president, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest international airport in France and also referred to as Roissy Airport.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,102,268

Compared to 2018: 2.5 per cent decrease

12. Miami International Airport (MIA)

Essential to Miami-Dade’s trade status, Miami International Airport is the world’s largest gateway to Latin America & the Caribbean for international freight.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,092,472

Compared to 2018: 1.8 per cent decrease

Arial view of Frankfurt Airport13. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Located in the fifth largest city in Germany and operated by Fraport, Frankfurt Airport acts as a hub for multiple German and European cargo companies.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,091,174

Compared to 2018: 3.9 per cent decrease

Singapore Changi14. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

A major civilian airport serving Singapore, Singapore Changi Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia and is the focal point of Singapore’s status as a world-class aviation hub.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,056,700

Compared to 2018: 6.3 per cent decrease

Beijing Capital International Airport15. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

Built to resemble a dragon, Beijing Capital International Airport is the primary international airport serving Beijing and is home to the second largest passenger terminal in the world.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,957,779

Compared to 2018: 6.0 per cent decrease

Guangzhou16. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)

The primary airport serving Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province in China, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is China’s largest transportation hub.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,922,132

Compared to 2018: 1.7 per cent increase

View of Chicago O'Hare International Airport's runway17. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, O’Hare International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and one of the most significant transportation hubs in the U.S.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,758,119

Compared to 2018: 3.8 per cent decrease

Heathrow Airport infrastructure achieves carbon neutrality18. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

One of six airports located in London, the largest aviation hub in the world, London Heathrow Airport is the UK’s largest airport – welcoming over 80 million passengers in 2019.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,672,874

Compared to 2018: 5.6 per cent decrease

Amsterdam Schiphol19. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Acting as the main international airport for the Netherlands, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is Europe’s best-connected cargo handling airport, with the most direct air destinations.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,592,221

Compared to 2018: 8.4 per cent decrease

Suvarnabhumi Bangkok20. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)

Suvarnabhumi Airport, unofficially known as Bangkok Airport, is one of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,326,914

Compared to 2018: 11.2 per cent decrease

Passenger numbers

To view the top 20 busiest airports in the world by passenger number – click here.

Aircraft movements

To view the top 20 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements – click here.

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