Cargo throughput at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) decreased by 2.5%, while Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) handled 2.16 million tonnes of cargo during 2017, an 8.1% increase from the previous year.

We’re being a little mischievous because, as so often with statistics, there’s more to this story than the open paragraph implies.

The 2.5% decline only applies to March. On a rolling annual basis Hong Kong’s performance is actually an increase of 7.5%, underlining why HKIA was ranked the world’s busiest cargo airport for the eighth consecutive year.

In 2017, it achieved record-breaking cargo throughput of 4.94m tonnes, an increase of 9.2%.

“To further capture the growing demand HKIA is experiencing, we are developing our cargo strategy in three key areas according to industry trends,” said Cissy Chan, executive director, Commercial for the airport authority. “These are e-commerce, transhipments and high-value logistics, including the transportation of temperature-controlled goods. We will also continue to work closely with our business partners to maintain HKIA’s place as the world’s leading air cargo hub.”

As part of the strategy, AA said it would invest in its cold chain facilities, including spending HK$16 million to purchase 21 more cool dollies this year.

HKIA currently handles temperature-sensitive shipments using more than 5,000 sqm of cold room storage in its three cargo terminals, which provide dedicated rooms that maintain temperatures ranging from -20ºC to 25ºC to cater to the specific needs of various products.

To meet the demand arising from the continuous growth of e-commerce shipments and premium warehousing in Hong Kong, the AA recently launched a tender to develop a premium logistics warehouse in Kwo Lo Wan in HKIA’s South Cargo Precinct, and the result will be announced in mid-2018.

The new premium warehouse will occupy a site of 5.3 hectares and have an expected gross floor area of approximately four million square feet, making it the third-largest warehouse in Hong Kong. It is scheduled to commence operation in 2023.”

Chan said HKIA was “honoured” to remain the world’s busiest cargo airport since 2010 and claimed this was a “direct result of the high operational standards practised by HKIA and its cargo operators as well as the airport’s excellent connectivity”.