ACI: Global cargo volumes up in 2014 after stagnation

Hong Kong International Airport

The Airports Council International (ACI World) has released the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report for 2014 and says cargo volumes rose after three years of stagnation.

The airport association says worldwide airport cargo increased by 4.7 per cent last year to 102 million tonnes, with positive levels of growth across all six regions.

ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, says: “Despite the uneven recovery in the global economy, there was a net increase in global demand for foreign goods and commodities in 2014. The overall flow of exports and imports by sea, land and air, measured by world trade volumes in goods and services, has grown. The American economic rebound and the rise in consumer spending helped stimulate major exporters of high-tech goods such as tablets, laptops and mobile phones.

This helped awaken the air cargo market in the last quarter of 2013 and into 2014 after several years of sluggish growth.”

ACI says airports in Asia-Pacific handled the most cargo during 2014 with 40.5 million tonnes, up 6.3 per cent over 2013, North America carried 28.9 million tonnes, up  three per cent, Europe handled 18.4 million tonnes, up 3.2 per cent, the Middle East 7.4 million tonnes, up 9.2 per cent, Latin America-Caribbean five million tonnes, up 0.6 per cent and Africa 1.9 million tonnes, up 5.1 per cent.

ACI says the world’s air cargo market is highly concentrated, with the top 30 air cargo hubs handling 53 per cent of global cargo volumes.

Hong Kong International Airport (pictured) and Memphis International Airport remain the busiest airports in terms of air cargo traffic (4.4 and 4.3 million metric tonnes of cargo respectively). The two Shanghai airports handled 3.6 million tonnes combined, taking third position.

The world’s busiest airports for international freight were Hong Kong, followed by Incheon International Airport with 2.5 million tonnes, up 3.3 per cent over 2013 and Dubai International Airport with 2.5 million tonnes, up 3.1 per cent.

The busiest airports for domestic freight were Memphis, which handled four million tonnes, Louisville Airport with 1.8 million tonnes and Beijing International Airport with one million.