Press Releases

ACI World launches new guidance on developing cargo operations at airports

Cargo remains an important engine for economic recovery

Montreal, 5 August 2021 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has today published a complimentary report to help airport operators develop successful cargo strategies that can contribute to the sustained recovery of the industry by developing alternative revenue streams.

The Developing Cargo at Airports guide has been prepared in collaboration with – and sponsored by – Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) and InterVISTAS. The guide includes inputs from global airports and air cargo industry experts.

Air cargo remains an engine of economic growth and its crucial role during the pandemic has created positive momentum as the industry enters its recovery phase. Many airports have managed to sustain or even grow their cargo operations during the pandemic, which has proven crucial in providing liquidity for airport operators and in some cases, even ensured the longer-term solvency of the airport business.

“As airports come out of the pandemic and look to ensure long-term financial sustainability through the diversification of their revenue streams, cargo is an important area to be explored,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “A clear cargo strategy will help further airports’ understanding of the current landscape and opportunities, as well as build a robust business plan for the future.

“Cargo continues to be critical to global recovery through the supply of goods – such as medicine, medical equipment, and most recently, vaccines – and playing a key role in supporting the communities we serve.

“This guide has been developed leveraging NACO’s extensive expertise and understanding of the air cargo market, and equally integrates the experience and lessons learned from ACI airport members. These inputs, which are highly appreciated, have been invaluable to establishing a comprehensive landscape of the cargo value chain and understanding of the key elements of a robust airport cargo strategy.”

The intention of the guidance is to enable airports that are not currently tapping into the potential of cargo to better understand and identify opportunities and help those airports that currently have extensive cargo operations with the re-formulation of their cargo strategy where needed.

Specifically, the guidance highlights the importance of analyzing current data (i.e., market trends, stakeholders’ perspective and cargo demand and supply), developing a clear cargo vision and cargo master plan, and ensuring the capabilities and infrastructure that create a lasting benefit.

“Airports need to manage many aspects to deliver a successful cargo strategy and we hope this report can be an invaluable tool in supporting them throughout the process.” NACO-InterVISTAS Director Esther Kromhout said.

“We believe that having a long-term strategy is crucial to inform infrastructure investment and guide operations improvement – allowing airports to collaborate effectively, deliver value and drive positive impact; whether that’s meeting Net-Zero commitments or driving digitalization that provides greater cost and operational efficiencies for customers.”

The ACI World Airport Traffic Dataset and Report and ACI World Airport Traffic Forecast are additional and indispensable tools for airports wishing to develop their air cargo strategy.

Notes for editors

  1. Download Developing Cargo at Airports.
  2. Stay up to date with COVID-19 developments on ACI World’s dedicated news hub.
  3. Airports Council International (ACI) the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2021, ACI serves 701 members, operating 1933 airports in 183 countries.
  4. Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a company of Royal HaskoningDHV, is a world-leading airport consultancy and engineering firm. Founded in 1949, NACO has provided integrated and multi-disciplinary airport planning and design services for 600 airports in more than 100 countries. Together with our sister company InterVISTAS, we offer data-driven strategy, planning, operations improvement, and infrastructure implementation. Our dedicated cargo team has considerable experience working with airports, airlines, ground handlers and other stakeholders in improving their cargo businesses.

Media contacts

David Whitely
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254