Source: Airports Council International. In metric tons. Seoul traffic for Incheon before 2001. Note: In million tons.
The world’s 20 largest freight airports each handle a traffic of over 1.5 million tons of cargo. The most impressive growth is observed in Shanghai and Dubai that became major activity centers, but for different reasons. For Shanghai, the growth concerns export-oriented activities related to the booming Chinese added-value manufacturing sector. Dubai became an important intermediary location for the Asia-Europe trade. There are thus two main sources of growth dynamics for freight airports. The first are gateways where the airport is a significant generator and attractor of air cargo. The second are hubs, where the airport is a connecting point between different regional or global networks.