Hong Kong International Airport has topped a list of the world’s best performing cargo airports for the third year running.
The gateway pipped Memphis International Airport by just 50,000 tonnes.
Shanghai Pudong came in third, despite seeing cargo dip by 5.19%.
Incheon and Ted Stevens Achorage also saw declines in cargo but held onto fourth and fifth respectively.
ACI World’s economics director, Rafael Echevarne, said: “There were mixed results throughout 2012 with some months posting modest gains while other months posted declines.
“Amid the significant downside risks in the Euro area and the fiscal deadlock in the United States throughout the year, growth in air freight came to an overall halt in 2012.
“As the global economy and international trade picks up steam we are optimistic to see higher growth rates for both passenger and freight traffic in 2013.”
Memphis has traditionally been the world’s top performing cargo airport, until finally, in 2010, it was toppled by Hong Kong.
While cargo has dipped internationally, Memphis bucked the trend, thanks largely to major player, FedEx, which has its world hub there.
John Greaud, vice president of operations, at Memphis International Airport, said: “Hong Kong finally toppled us here two years ago as the number one airport for cargo.
“International is where the growth is. With FedEx’s 777 switch they can now make that journey in one hop. And so because it’s more fuel efficient and faster, they can operate 777 direct to international markets. That’s where FedEx sees their growth.”