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Louisville Muhammad Ali International Remains in the Top 5 Worldwide Busiest Cargo Airports

May 6, 2021

The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) remains in the Top 5 in the world for busiest cargo operations according to Airports Council International (ACI) World. In 2020, SDF was ranked no. 5 in the world and no. 3 in North America as the busiest cargo airports according to the preliminary World Airport Traffic Report.

“Air cargo from Louisville continued to show gains last year amid the global pandemic as demand for online goods grew significantly,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “We are proud to remain among the Top 5 airports in the world for a second consecutive year and appreciate our strong partnership with UPS Worldport. Not only does this tell us that our operations remain a vital economic driver to the region with $10.4 billion in annual economic impact including more than 82,000 direct and indirect jobs, but that we play a key role on the global stage. This was even more evident as UPS Worldport at SDF became central to delivering the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across the United States in December 2020.”

“Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is the heart of UPS’s worldwide air network. We are delivering what matters — coronavirus vaccines and other critical shipments — around the world from Louisville every day, due to the dedication of thousands of UPSers, and the strong support of our operations by SDF,” UPS Airlines President Brendan Canavan said.

As a Top 5 airport for cargo operations, SDF is busier than international airports in Incheon (Seoul), KR, Doha, QA and Chinese Taipei, CN as well as Miami and Los Angeles in the United States.

“Louisville’s strength and importance in the worldwide logistics and e-commerce sector is once again reflected with this top-five ranking,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Congratulations to Dan, our entire team at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport and longtime corporate citizen, UPS WorldPort.”

In 2020, the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport handled more than 6.43 billion pounds (2,971,243 metric tons) of cargo, a 4.6% increase over the previous year. Its growth rate for last year bested both the Hong Kong SAR, HR and Shanghai, CN airports.

According to ACI World, the Top 10 busiest cargo airports account for 28% of all global cargo volumes in 2020.

Airports Council International is a worldwide trade association that was formed in 1991 by airport operators to represent common interests and foster cooperation in the air transport industry. ACI World releases their preliminary World Airport Traffic Report each spring, followed by the final report in the fall. Click here to read more about the ACI World’s Preliminary 2020 World Airport Traffic Report and the impact of COVID-19 as well as the list of the Top 10 airports for passenger traffic, cargo operations and aircraft movements.