Just over 34,877 tonnes of goods passed through the airport last month, eclipsing the previous busiest month which was November 2018 when EMA’s cargo operators handled 34,107 tonnes.
Airport bosses expect this to be one of the busiest winters for cargo as increasing numbers of people shop for Christmas and grab Black Friday deals online. Driving demand, in part, is consumer behaviour and peoples’ expectation that goods are delivered within 24 to 48 hours after being ordered.
Approximately one million individual packages and letters are handled each night at the airport. Goods range from clothes to super-cars, which reflects the variation in budgets that people have for retail therapy.
EMA is home to the UK’s largest dedicated air cargo operation with many of the operators on-site geared up to supporting the express freight sector. Being home to the likes of DHL, UPS, FedEx/TNT and Royal Mail, the airport is second only to London Heathrow in terms of the total annual tonnage of cargo it handles.
Over 1000 tonnes of goods pass through EMA each day, £11bn worth of which are to and from non-EU countries.
As well has being a nationally important airport for facilitating B2C (business to customer) deliveries, through its connections to air cargo hubs in Europe and the USA, EMA also supports UK businesses as they trade across the world. Latin America, Asia, North America and the Middle East are some of the biggest regions for exports.
Looking ahead to 2020, there will be further growth to EMA’s freight operation when UPS’s new £114m facility opens. This will double UPS’s capacity and employ 1000 people.
The airport’s cargo operation is also a catalyst for much of the investment in the region, the product of which is the logistics development at the East Midlands Gateway, but elsewhere including the recent announcement of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to set up a global logistics hub at Appleby Magna at junction 11 of the A42. Proximity to the airport was cited as one of the reasons JLR chose this location.
Karen Smart, EMA’s Managing Director, said: “The latest monthly cargo tonnage figures continue to demonstrate what a critical piece of national infrastructure East Midlands Airport is. We are seeing year-on-year growth in demand for cargo services based at EMA which is supporting both the regional and national economy. While we are bracing ourselves for a busy few months our attention is very much focused on how we respond to this growth and what we can do to continue to position EMA at the forefront of UK trade.”
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