#5: Hong Kong breaks the 5 million-tonne-mark for air freight

In recent years, the world’s largest airport by throughput, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), has continued to best its own records. In 2018, the airport reported its freight volumes increased from 4.94 million tonnes,  to 5.01 million tonnes. When combined with mail, the airport’s overall cargo handle reached 5,120,811 tonnes in 2018. Although HKG surpassed the 5 million tonne benchmark for cargo last year, only this year did freight volumes cross the monumental threshold.

While HKG saw a modest growth in cargo over the past year with a 1.4 percent increase, the airport continues to invest in cargo growth. Recent initiatives have included expansion projects aimed at targeting e-commerce transshipments and temperature-controlled airfreight, including perishables and pharmaceuticals. HKG approved the expansion of its runway system and construction of a new logistics center – awarded to the Alibaba Group’s logistics affiliate, Cainiao Network – in its Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030. With these expansions, the airport projects it will be able to handle annual cargo volumes of 8.9 million tonnes by 2030.

HKG also recently announced its collaboration with Brussels Airport (BRU) and Pharma.Aero to launch a pharma corridor that will create a cold-chain link between the two major international freight hubs, as well as its accreditation as the first International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Fresh-accredited airport for perishable food products.


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