After publishing many posts about the biggest airlines and airports, we decided to take a closer look at cargo operations. Et voila, here’s the ultimate ranking of the largest cargo airports. Therefore, we’ve crunched the latest ICAO data and analyzed the freight volumes of dozens of airports. Here are the results:
The World’s Biggest Cargo Airports in 2021 — Top 3
#1 – Hong Kong (HKG)
For years, Hong Kong Airport (HKG) has been one of the world’s major cargo hubs. Within the analyzed period from January to May 2021, HKG operated almost 1.9 million cargo tonnes. Moreover, Hong Kong Airport ranked as the world’s biggest cargo airport in three of the analyzed five months. However, since Hong Kong is still massively impacted by COVID-19, the airport lost the title of the world’s biggest cargo airport in March and April to Memphis.
#2 – Memphis (MEM)
Although Memphis is rather small in passenger traffic (~2,0 million passengers annually), the airport plays an important role in cargo. As a result, the Memphis Airport won the world’s biggest airport title in March and April 2021. Moreover, from January to May 2021, Memphis Airport handled 1.853 million tonnes of cargo — only 43,000 less than Hong Kong as the world’s biggest cargo airport.
#3 – Shanghai (PVG)
Shanghai’s Pudong Airport (PVG) ranked 3rd among the world’s biggest cargo airports during the entire observed period. Moreover, with 1.747 million cargo tonnes, Shanghai can be considered the third mega cargo airport operating more than 1.5 million cargo tons in 2021.
The World’s Biggest Cargo Airports in 2021 — Complete Ranking
Contrary to many other airline and airport rankings, COVID-19 does not severely impact the ranking of the world’s biggest cargo airports. Compared to similar lists from 2019, the current ranking contains almost the same airports.
With six airports from the United States (Memphis, Anchorage, Louisville, Los Angeles, and Miami) and five from Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Incheon, Taipei, and Tokyo), the cargo hotspots are clearly defined. However, with Frankfurt as the sole representative, Europe plays no important role among the top cargo airports. Moreover, Doha and Dubai, two airports from the Middle East region, complete the ranking of the world’s biggest cargo airports.
|Rank||IATA||Airport||Freight Tonnes (mil.)|
Jan – May ’21
The World’s Biggest Cargo Airports in 2021 — Detailed Data
Here are some more details about the world’s biggest cargo airports.
Top 5 Cargo Airports
Top 6 – 10 Cargo Airports
Top 11 – 14 Cargo Airports
The shown information is based on ICAO data and internal data sources.
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