Hong Kong International breaks the 5 million tonne barrier

Hong Kong International Airport handled over 5 million tonnes of cargo in 2017 — the first airport ever to do so.

For much of 2017, Hong Kong International Airport’s year-over-year cargo handle growth was in double digits. With tougher 2016 comparisons, that growth rate dropped slightly in November and December, but December’s 6.3% y-o-y increase was enough to push HKG’s full year handle over 5 million tonnes – the first airport ever to hit that mark.

In total, HKG handled 4,938,000 tonnes of freight and 112,000 tonnes of mail in 2017, for a grand total of 5,050,000 tonnes.

Looking at December, HKG reported exports up 8.3% to 303,000 tonnes, while imports rose 2.8% to 159,000 tonnes.

Discussing the results, Airport Authority of Hong Kong CEO Fred Lam said: “The growth in December cargo throughput was largely driven by transshipments and exports, both registering 8% year-on-year growth compared to December 2016. Amongst the key trading regions, traffic to and from Europe and India increased most significantly during the month.”

Mr. Lam also noted that in 2018 (which will be the airport’s 20th anniversary), the Airport Authority had plans for developments in both its cargo and passenger businesses. “On the cargo front, in addition to the IATA CEIV Pharma Partner Airport accreditation achieved in 2017, the AA is also launching a tender to develop a premium logistics warehouse in Kwo Lo Wan to enhance the handling of e-commerce shipments.”

For the past few years, Hong Kong and Memphis (MEM) have been the only cities whose airports handled more than 4 million tonnes per year. However, as we reported last month, the 4-million-tonne club gained a new member in 2017, when the combined handle of Shanghai’s two airports passed that mark in mid-December.

To learn more about Asia’s cargo airports, including the rise to prominence of new gateways like Zhengzhou and Chongqing, as well as plans for the Xi’an and Wuhan regions, join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018, to be held 23-25 April, at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai. For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com

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