article

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.

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 2018. Figures are calculated by totalling all loaded and unloaded freight and mail at each airport throughout the course of the year.

Arial view of Hong Kong Airport

1. Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)

The world’s busiest airport for nine consecutive years in a row, Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport for the region and handled almost a million tonnes more than its closest competitor airport in 2018.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 5,049,898

Compared to 2017: 9.4 per cent increase

Memphis International Airport terminal

2. 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: 4,336,752

Compared to 2017: 0.3 per cent increase

View of Shanghai Pudong International Airport airfield

3. 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: 3,824,280

Compared to 2017: 11.2 per cent increase

Plane flying over Incheon International Airport terminal

4. 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: 2,921,691

Compared to 2017: 7.6 per cent increase

Plane departing from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

5. 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: 2,713,230

Compared to 2017: 6.7 per cent increase

View of Dubai International Airport airfield and terminal

6. 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: 2,654,494

Compared to 2017: 2.4 per cent increase

7. 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: 2,602,695

Compared to 2017: 6.8 per cent increase

Planes waiting at Tokyo Narita International Airport

8. 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: 2,336,427

Compared to 2017: 7.9 per cent increase

View of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport terminal

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: 2,269,585

Compared to 2017: 8.2 per cent increase

View of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport airfield

10. 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: 2,195,229

Compared to 2017: 2.8 per cent increase

Arial view of Frankfurt Airport airfield

11. 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: 2,194,056

Compared to 2017: 3.8 per cent increase

View of Singapore Changi Airport airfield and terminal

12. 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: 2,164,700

Compared to 2017: 7.9 per cent increase

Arial view of Los Angeles International Airport

13. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Located along the West Coast of the U.S., Los Angeles International Airport is a gateway to multiple international destinations, particularly Asia and the Pacific.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,158,324

Compared to 2017: 8.1 per cent increase

Arial view of Miami International Airport14. Miami International Airport (MIA)

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

Tonnes of cargo handled: 2,071,722

Compared to 2017: 2.9 per cent increase

Beijing Capital International Airport

15. 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: 2,029, 584

Compared to 2017: 4.5 per cent increase

View of Doha Hamad International Airport airfield and terminal

16. 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: 2,020,942

Compared to 2017: 15 per cent increase

View of London Heathrow Airport airfield

17. 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 2018.

Tonnes of cargo handled: 1,794,276

Compared to 2017: 9.4 per cent increase

Plane waiting on runway at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

18. 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: 1,780,423

Compared to 2017: 7.8 per cent increase

Arial view of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

19. 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: 1,778,382

Compared to 2017: 4.9 per cent increase

Planes lined up along runway at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

20. 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: 1,721,807

Compared to 2017: 12.6 per cent increase

Passenger Numbers

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

Send this to a friend