News #57 - ACI: Hong Kong Retains Title As World’s Busiest Cargo Airport


The list of the world’s busiest cargo airports stayed consistent in 2023, with only one airport dropping out of Airports Council International (ACI) World’s top 10.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) retained its status as the world’s busiest cargo airport in 2023, handling 4.3 million metric tons, up 3.2% year-over-year but down 9.9% compared to 2019, according to ACI World's preliminary figures for the year.

Overall, total cargo volumes at the world’s airports in 2023 fell 3.1% year-over-year to 113 million metric tons, marking the second straight annual decrease following the pandemic-driven air cargo surge. Cargo volumes in 2023 were down 4.6% from 2019, a fall back from 2022, when cargo volumes were down 2.6% from 2019 levels.

“The decline can be attributed to the ongoing geopolitical tensions and disruptions to global trade and supply chains,” ACI World said in a statement.

The only airport to drop out of the top 10 from 2022 to 2023 was Tokyo Narita, with Doha (DOH) moving into the top 10.

Following HKG at number two on the list is FedEx’s base hub, Memphis International Airport in Tennessee, which handled 3.9 million metric tons in 2023, down 4% year-over-year and down 10.2% from 2019. Third is Shanghai Pudong at 3.4 million metric tons, up 10.4% over 2022 but down 5.3% from 2019. Anchorage, Alaska, checks in at fourth place with 3.4 million metric tons handled, down 2.4% year-over-year but up 23.1% over 2019. The fifth-busiest is Seoul Incheon, which handled 2.7 million metric tons in 2023, down 6.7% year-over-year and down 0.7% from 2019.

Airports six-10 on the ACI cargo list are: United Parcel Service base hub in Louisville, Kentucky; Miami; DOH; Los Angeles (LAX); and Taipei (TPE). Notably, LAX and TPE saw cargo volume drops of 14.9% and 16.8%, respectively, in 2023 compared to 2022.

The world’s 10 busiest cargo airports account for around 26% global volumes, according to ACI. Combined, the 10 airports saw cargo volumes decrease 3.5% year-over-year in 2023.


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