Dubai and Louisville were the major movers last year among the world’s top 20 busiest international cargo airports, according to preliminary figures for 2011 from Airports Council International.
Dubai saw cargo remain steady at 2.27 million metric tons in 2011 but still moved up to sixth place from eighth a year earlier, while Louisville jumped to eighth from 10th in 2010 after recording growth of 1 percent and seeing volumes reach 2.19 million metric tons.
Hong Kong maintained the top spot despite a 4.7 percent drop in cargo; Memphis (with 0 percent growth) and Shanghai were Nos. 2 and 3. Anchorage and Incheon swapped positions with Anchorage coming in fourth this year, posting growth of 0.5 percent, compared with the 5.4 percent contraction suffered by the Korean hub.
Shanghai, with cargo growth of 4.3 percent year-over-year compared with 26.9 percent a year earlier, was still the fastest-growing airport in the top 20 in 2011 after Beijing, with 7.7 percent growth. Total global air cargo volumes declined 0.1 percent year-over-year.
Tokyo’s Narita airport suffered the worst volume performance, not least because of the aftermath of last year’s tsunami and earthquake. Its 10.3 percent decline in cargo in 2011 put it in 10th place in the ACI rankings after being in ninth place in 2010. Paris fell from sixth to ninth after booking a 4 percent decline in throughput.
ACI World Director General Angela Gittens described 2011as a year of global uncertainty. “Cargo traffic slowed for most of the year as business confidence deteriorated in light of the looming eurozone debt crisis,” she said.
Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver and Los Angeles topped the 2011 aircraft movements table. Atlanta was also the world’s busiest passenger airport last year, followed by Beijing, London, Chicago and Tokyo.
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