Freight handled at New York’s Major Airports, 1985-2022

Freight handled at New Yorks Major Airports 1985 2022

Source: PANYNJ.

JFK (John F Kennedy) and EWR (Newark Liberty International) are the two major freight airports servicing the New York metropolitan area. While the amount of air cargo fluctuates according to economic cycles (growth and recessions), it has leveled off since the beginning of the 21st century, with New York losing market share. One of the main factors behind this trend relates to the ongoing offshoring of the technology-related industries that are users of air freight in the area (e.g. pharmaceuticals). Another, is the decline of postal letters because of the diffusion of information technologies. Further, road accessibility to the airports, particularly JFK, is complex, and many of the air cargo facilities are obsolete. Still, New York remains one of the world’s most significant freight gateways, representing a major consumption market of high-value freight carried by air cargo. The air cargo function became particularly prevalent after the COVID-19 pandemic, which was associated with an initial decline and then a surge in cargo activity. Like most airports worldwide, passenger traffic was negatively impacted, while freight activity in most cases remained stable.