Highest Movements Of Airplane Freight By Country

Massive cargo and passenger planes at Memphis International Airport in the U.S. state of Tennessee.

The International Civil Aviation Organization describes air freight as the volume of freight, express, and the diplomatic bags carried on each flight stage. Global demand for goods from other countries and increasing trade partnerships between countries fuels the global air freight industry. The top countries are home to large airports and airlines with a massive capacity to handle large volumes of cargo. Countries that had the highest movements of airplane freight in 2015 by country are briefly discussed below.

United States

The United States leads the pack with 37.22 Billion metric tons of cargo times kilometers traveled. Such loads include fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The leading airport that handles the largest volume of freight in the United States is Memphis International Airport in Tennessee, which handled a cargo tonnage of 4,290,638 in the year 2015. Teds Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska is the second airport by volume and handled a cargo of 2,630,701 tons in 2015. Top airlines for transportation of cargo in the United States are FedEx Express and United Parcel Service (UPS) Airlines. Airplanes used by cargo carriers include Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell Douglas.


China came second with 19.81 Billion metric tons of cargo times Kilometers traveled. The air cargo industry in China is especially vital for the transportation of hi-tech products such as computers and phones to global markets. Major cargo transported also includes pharmaceuticals, electronics, and consumer goods. The airports that handled the bulk of this cargo are Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai which handled a cargo of 3,273,732 ton in 2015 and Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing which handled a cargo of 1,889,829 tons in the same year. Top airlines in the freight industry of China are Cathay Pacific and China Airlines. These airlines have airplane models from Boeing and Airbus.

United Arab Emirates

The United Emirates (UAE) had 16.65 Billion metric tons of cargo times Kilometers traveled. The UAE especially imports fresh produce from other countries. The largest airport in the UAE by volume of cargo handled is the Dubai International Airport, which handled cargo of 2,506,092 tons in 2015. Abu Dhabi is the second largest airport by cargo volume handling an estimated 827,456 tons in 2015. The largest cargo airlines in the UAE are Emirates Sky Cargo and Etihad Cargo. These airlines boast mostly Boeing and Airbus aircraft with a large capacity to handle large volumes of freight.

South Korea

South Korea had 11.30 Billion metric tons of cargo times kilometers traveled in 2015. Electronic equipment made most of the bulk of freight transported. The largest airport by cargo volume in South Korea is Incheon International Airport which handled a cargo of 2,595,677 tons. The largest cargo airlines in South Korea are Asiana Airlines Inc. and Korean Air Cargo. These airlines boast Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Trends for the Future

Other countries that had large movements of airplane freight and the metric tons times Kilometers traveled in 2015 are Hong Kong (11.29 Billion), Japan (8.87 Billion), Qatar (7.56 Billion), Germany (6.99 Billion), Luxembourg (6.31 Billion), and Singapore (6.15 Billion). While developing countries have a notable presence in the list, emerging economies such as China and the UAE are also increasingly dominating. These countries use airplane freight to transport imports for development and exports to global markets. Future trends indicate that emerging economies such as the UAE will experience an increase in freight movement.

Highest Movements Of Airplane Freight By Country

RankCountryMetric Tons of Cargo Times Kilometers Traveled in 2015
1United States37.22 Billion
2China19.81 Billion
3United Arab Emirates16.65 Billion
4South Korea11.30 Billion
5Hong Kong11.29 Billion
6Japan8.87 Billion
7Qatar7.56 Billion
8Germany6.99 Billion
9Luxembourg6.31 Billion
10Singapore6.15 Billion

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