Hong Kong’s HKIA named busiest cargo airport in 2022

An aerial view of Hong Kong International Airport
Wylkie Chan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is once again named as the world’s busiest cargo airport in 2022.

The airport handled a total of 4.2 million tonnes of cargo during the year, according to the latest data released by Airports Council International (ACI).

A year of tensions and disruptions

HKIA retained the top position in 2022 despite ongoing geopolitical tensions and disruptions to global trade and supply chains that caused a decrease in overall air cargo volume globally.

An array of projects are currently underway to enhance air cargo services at HKIA, in parallel with the expansion into a three-runway system.

Photo Credits: Hong Kong Int’l Airport

Major projects include the expansion of DHL’s Central Asia Hub to increase its handling capacity by 50% which was already completed for operation in the first quarter in 2023.

The development of a premium logistics centre by a joint venture spearheaded by Alibaba Group’s logistics arm, Cainiao Network, is scheduled to complete this year.

2023 will also see the introduction of new sea-air intermodal cargo trans-shipment model by setting up HKIA Logistics Park in Dongguan and a new airside intermodal cargo pier at HKIA, for which the pilot scheme has been running smoothly.


HKIA is one of the few airports in the world with its cargo terminal operators and ramp handling operators attaining the International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEIV standards for transport of cargo.

The qualification requires proficiency in special handling, including CEIV Pharma, CEIV Fresh or CEIV Live Animals.

HKIA statement

Jack So, Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “We are proud that HKIA retains its leading position as the world’s busiest cargo airport in 2022.”

“Despite the impact brought to the global aviation industry by the pandemic, HKIA’s cargo performance has consistently remained strong over the past few years, leveraging its extensive network and high efficiency.”

“As air traffic continues to recover worldwide, coupled with the completion of various new cargo facilities at HKIA, we will continue to work with our business partners to consolidate HKIA’s role as the world’s leading air cargo hub.”

The criticality of HKIA for air cargo

Hong Kong International Airport plays a critical role in the global air freight and air cargo industry, connecting businesses and consumers around the world and facilitating the movement of goods and services across borders.

The airport traditionally remains one of the busiest and most important airports in the world, particularly for air freight and air cargo operations.

Strategic Location

Hong Kong is geographically well-positioned to serve as a gateway to the fast-growing economies of Mainland China and the rest of Asia, making it a natural hub for air cargo traffic.

Efficient Infrastructure

HKIA has state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and technology to handle large volumes of air cargo, including an extensive network of warehouses, advanced handling systems, and a dedicated freight terminal.

Strong Industry Support

Hong Kong is home to a thriving logistics industry, which provides a range of services and support to air cargo operators, including customs clearance, cargo consolidation, and distribution.

Robust Security Measures

HKIA has stringent security protocols in place to ensure the safe and secure handling of air cargo, including rigorous screening procedures, advanced surveillance systems, and trained security personnel.

High-Quality Service

HKIA is known for providing reliable and high-quality service to air cargo operators, with fast turnaround times, flexible scheduling, and competitive pricing.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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