Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is world’s fourth busiest for cargo

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 7:49 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport prides itself as one of the world’s Top-5 busiest airports for cargo. Now we know exactly where it sits in that survey.

“Anchorage International Airport is now the fourth busiest cargo airport in the entire world,” said Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak regarding the newest ranking by Airports Council International.

Anchorage moved up two spots from a year ago. Nearly 3.5 million tons of air cargo passed through the airport in 2020, a 16% increase over the record setting numbers a year earlier.

“We’ve got a lot of that restocking that’s happening right now,” Szczesniak said. “Then you’ve got the challenges at the ports in the Lower 48. A lot of that stuff is being flown, and it’s flying through Anchorage.”

The airport makes an even more impressive jump when it comes to international freight. It’s 5th in this year’s ranking, a gain of five spots thanks to a nearly 14.5% increase from a year ago. Szczesniak expects more cargo to pass through the airport.

“E-commerce is growing exponentially that we anticipate that it will be replaced by the e-commerce that’s going through the planes here,” said Szczesniak.

The increased traffic is expected to make one of the world’s busiest cargo airports even busier. Cargo has taken off quite a bit this year. Szczesniak said the airport saw the amount increase by more than 40% compared to last year.

Memphis, Hong Kong and Shanghai are the only busier cargo airports in the survey.

This is not the airport’s highest ranking. Szczesniak said it got up to number 3 in the early 2000′s.

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