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Our ambition is to maintain our position as one of Europe’s best airports for cargo by improving our service and doubling our cargo capacity

Heathrow is the largest UK port by value and our ambition is to become one of Europe’s best airports for cargo. Bellyhold cargo at Heathrow accounted for over 60% of total UK air freight volume in 2017, with forwarders and shippers utilising its extensive intercontinental passenger network.

A notable feature of the UK air freight market is the  importance of Heathrow and its surrounding freight facilities, with most forwarders having major consolidation centres in the vicinity of the airport. Very significant volumes of air freight are trucked to such facilities near Heathrow, processed and then trucked to another airport, either in the UK or in continental Europe,

The UK economy benefits greatly from cargo, and Heathrow is the UK’s largest port by value for non-EU exports, transporting more than Felixstowe and Southampton combined

We’re also uniquely placed as a transatlantic and European gateway with 95% of the global economy potentially within reach of a direct flight from Heathrow. Nowhere is better placed to connect UK exporters to the world and help the UK achieve its target of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

Our cargo strategy will lift freight volumes capacity to 3 million tonnes a year by 2040 through improved service and increased capacity from expansion. For cargo customers our aim is to become a trusted partner – timely, reliable and easy to do business with.

Increasing the amount of cargo at the airport will not mean doubling the number of vehicles or HGVs on the road. Our freight proposals are designed to minimise cargo vehicle trips and reduce the effects of those trips on the local community whilst improving the reliability and ease of use of cargo operations at the airport.

Our freight proposals focus on measures to increase the efficiency of cargo at Heathrow by enabling operators to consolidate cargo consignments onto fewer vehicles. Details of these measures are set out in Part 2 of our Surface Access Proposals document as part of Airport Expansion Consultation.