Anchorage airport gets cargo boost from pandemic

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Nearly one million tons of cargo passed through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in the third quarter this year, a 25 percent increase in cargo tonnage compared to the same quarter of last year.

As of the end of September, 2.5 million tons of cargo had touched down at ANC this year, a 13.6 percent increase over first nine months of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2020 ANC was the 38th busiest airport in the U.S based on aircraft operations. By the second quarter, ANC had climbed to third. Strong cargo traffic continued in the third quarter and ANC remained in the top 10 as the eighth busiest airport.

“The pandemic has caused a significant shift in the air traffic mix. Nominal amounts of passenger aircraft are flying, displacing the cargo they once carried in their bellies. It has created considerable demand for freighter space to carry that cargo,” said ANC Airport director Jim Szczesniak.

“This demand for moving cargo displaced by the decrease in passenger aircraft availability is further bolstered by a substantial increase in e-commerce as people across the globe have embraced online shopping throughout the pandemic.”

Added flights

Amazon Air added a second daily flight to ANC to meet the increase of Alaskans shopping on the online marketplace during the holiday season.

The airport has more than US$500 million of private cargo development and expansion projects on the horizon. Alaska Cargo & Cold Storage, 6A Aviation, FedEx, and UPS have all put forward plans for development or expansion at the world’s sixth busiest cargo airport.

“The Anchorage International Airport is shining brighter now more than ever in Alaska’s economy,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy.

“The airport has been critical to the fight against Covid-19, moving countless pieces of PPE and employing thousands of Alaskans during this unprecedented time.”