The top 10 cargo items through Heathrow this Christmas…

Heathrow

By Heathrow

Published 16th December 2016

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With Christmas shoppers rushing to get their last minute presents ahead of this weekend’s Royal Mail international postage deadline, Heathrow is forecasting up to 132,000 tonnes of cargo will go through the airport this December, an increase of 3% over last year, and a new record in air freight for December at Heathrow since 1991.

  • Fresh salmon, knitted items, clotted cream and books are amongst the top exports by weight in Christmas 2015

  • Festive imports include Christmas staples like cranberries, lamb and peas

  • Over 1 million tonnes of cargo goes through Heathrow each year

To mark the occasion, Heathrow has released new data on the seasonal exports and imports in 2015 and highlights what Christmas 2016 has in store.

Heathrow’s export data reflects how our uniquely British sensibilities are exported to the world. Fresh salmon was the single biggest export by weight, totalling 2,980 tonnes in December alone. Other Christmas staples, including knitted and crocheted items, dairy products including clotted cream, and books were amongst the airport’s most popular exports by weight for the month of December, totalling 2,558 tonnes altogether in December 2015.

While not in the list of top ten exports overall, exports of whiskey jumped up by 76% – or 128 tonnes – from November to December 2015.

At the same time, vital components of a festive feast are flown in from all over the world – including 1,680 tonnes of fresh berries, primarily cranberries from Chile, 839 tonnes of lamb, mostly from New Zealand, and 830 tonnes of peas, mostly from Guatemala. Popular presents including laptops, books, and pullovers were the most popular Heathrow import commodities by weight last December, and are expected to be again in 2016 (note – but not laptops as that has dropped massively since last year).

The Top 5 exports by value…

As the biggest port in the UK by value of goods, Heathrow has played an important role in exports. The top five UK export commodities by value expected to go through the airport this Christmas are (based on trends in December):

  • Parts of aircraft & aircraft turbo engines – (in December 2015, the value of these was £281 million)

  • Aircraft turbojets – (in December 2015, the value of these was £212 million)

  • Vaccines for human medicine – (in December 2015, the value of these was £160 million)

  • Medicine, measured doses or for retail sale – (in December 2015, the value of these was £130 million)

  • Paintings – (in December 2015, the value of these was £113 million)

As the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow connects to 82 long-haul destinations which put it – and the UK – at the heart of international commerce. Having received Government backing for its expansion, Heathrow will be able to open up 40 additional long haul destinations – including some severely constrained routes to emerging markets – and almost double capacity.

The Top 5 export destinations this Christmas…

Three of the top five Christmas export destinations at Heathrow (based on value in December 2015) are to fast growing economies in Asia:

  • USA – £929 million

  • Hong Kong – £849 million

  • China – £730 million

  • UAE – £238 million

  • Japan – £151 million

In total, Heathrow has seen 1,407,561 tonnes of cargo go through the airport from January to November this year, an increase of almost 3% over the same period last year.

“We may be a long way from the North Pole, but the figures today underline Heathrow’s vital part in delivering Christmas to the UK, and the British Christmas to the world. Of course, our standing agreement with Santa Claus remains and we’ll prioritise his landing clearance come Christmas Eve.” – Heathrow Head Of Cargo, Nick Platts

Source information:

All figures exclude EU27 & Switzerland.
Source: UK Tradeinfo, Seabury Group, Heathrow analysis

130,000 tonnes of cargo is a record for December cargo volumes, based on Heathrow records for dating back from 1991.

The top ten exports in December 2015, by weight, were (Dec-15 Weight (tonnes) Value (USD)):

  • Salmon, Fresh 2,980 23,337

  • Books, brochures and similar printed matter, not in single sheets 1,735 45,076

  • Milk, cream, buttermilk, yogurt etc. liquid, dried, concentrated or sweetened 532 5,977

  • Medicine, Measured Doses or for Retail Sale 336 194,844

  • Vehicles : Cars, Estate Cars or Station Wagons 312 53,492

  • Food preparations, not elsewhere specified 297 7,128

  • T-shirts & similar garments, of knitted or crocheted textile fabrics 291 12,071

  • Vehicle Engine Parts 277 27,977

  • Other Parts for Aircraft 263 179,486

  • Trout, Fresh 248 1,682

The top ten imports in December 2015, by weight, were (Dec-15 Weight (tonnes) Value (USD)):

  • Beans, Fresh 1,788 6,339

  • Berries including cranberries, blueberries, fresh 1,680 17,325

  • Books, brochures and similar printed matter, not in single sheets 1,193 19,000

  • Jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats & similar, knitted or crocheted 979 30,566

  • Sheep Meat, Fresh 839 7,466

  • Digital ADP Machines, Portable (Laptops etc) 836 260,235

  • Peas, Fresh 830 4,472

  • Other Fresh Vegetables, Fresh 825 2,186

  • Asparagus, Fresh 763 5,692

  • T-shirts & similar garments, of knitted or crocheted textile fabrics 660 16,795

Heathrow

By Heathrow

Published 16th December 2016