LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Growth at Louisville’s airport is soaring to new heights, and it’s landed the city on a list of the world’s busiest air cargo hubs.
The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport ranks behind airports in Hong Kong, Memphis and Shanghai, but recently moved up above some major cities around the globe like Dubai and Tokyo.
SDF is now the fourth busiest cargo hub in the world, according to Airport Councils International.
“Anytime that Louisville can get on the map within those type of rankings, when we’re comparing ourselves to nearly 2,600 airports across the globe, we think that’s incredibly impressive,” Natalie Chaudoin, director of public relations for the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, said.
Chaudoin said the airport ranks so high in terms of cargo operations because it’s the home of UPS Worldport. Worldport is one of the largest package handling facilities across the globe.
Hundreds of UPS flights take off and land at SDF each day.
“Things are very busy at UPS at WorldPort,” UPS Spokesman Jim Mayer said. “On an average day we have almost 400 take offs and departures, we sort more than two million packages.”
Mayer said e-commerce is what’s driving all the growth.
“We’ve seen over the past several years just continuing growth in e-commerce,” he said. “Last year, 2019, our next day air package volume grew 22 percent over 2018, so you can see where that growth is coming from.”
Those 2019 numbers are what helped Louisville move up the ranks, but airport officials say the cargo market is still strong. Many people are choosing to shop online during the pandemic, giving e-commerce a massive boost worldwide.
“Obviously in the current global crisis I don’t think it’s going to slow down anytime soon,” Chaudoin said.
And that could mean even more growth for Louisville’s airport in 2020.
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