Heathrow expects record breaking December as it gears up for Christmas

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With final preparations for the festive season in full swing, Heathrow Airport is predicting it will handle over 130,000 tonnes of cargo in December.

The UK’s busiest air cargo port is forecasting it will handle 132,000 tonnes in December, a December record, and has released figures on the seasonal imports and exports it handled in 2015 to give people an idea of the kind of goods it will be handling this year.

In December 2015 the top export by weight was fresh salmon, transporting 2,980 tonnes, and the main import by weight was beans, handling 1,788 tonnes.

By value medicine was the main export last December, valued at $194.8 million, and for imports it was digital ADP machines worth $260.2 million.

Heathrow head of cargo, Nick Platts says: “We may be a long way from the North Pole, but the figures today underline Heathrow’s vital part in delivering Christmas to the UK, and the British Christmas to the world. Of course, our standing agreement with Santa Claus remains and we’ll prioritise his landing clearance come Christmas Eve.”

In December 2015, the USA was the top Christmas export destination worth £929 million, followed by Hong Kong at £849 million.

Heathrow handled just over 1.4 million tonnes of cargo between January and December this year, a year-on-year increase of three per cent.

It has 82 long-haul destinations and hopes to add another 40 having received government approval for a third runway, which it hopes will double capacity.