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  • It’s no surprise cargo is a huge part of Heathrow’s operations, with around 1.5 million cubic tonnes of cargo, worth about £133 billion, travelling through the airport each year. As Britain’s global gateway, Heathrow connects British exporters to global markets and makes it easier for investors to travel to the UK. Heathrow is Britain’s largest port by value, handling over 30% of non-EU export goods each year.

    Heathrow’s Cargo Blueprint

    Blueprint plans were developed with key stakeholders as part of a 15 year vision to invest around £180 million in revolutionising its cargo facilities, processes and people. These investments will fund a specialist pharmaceutical storage area, as well as better infrastructure to reduce congestion and process time.

    Heathrow has developed its vision to overhaul the cargo facilities after working closely with stakeholders, forming an ambition to become one of the leading European airports for cargo. These improvements will also encourage airlines to bring cargo friendly aircraft with greater freight capacity to Heathrow, which are typically more modern, greener and quieter. With Heathrow’s cargo strategy, improved service, and increased capacity from a third runway, freight volumes will lift to 3 million tonnes a year by 2040. Read more about our cargo strategy.

    Making Cargo More Sustainable

    Heathrow’s approach aims to grow cargo sustainably, whilst minimising the impact on neighbours. The airport is constantly working to diminish the environmental impact and by expanding the Heathrow cargo operation, this will attract more efficient aircraft to Heathrow. Planes that fly cleaner and quieter also have greater cargo capacity which improves the UK’s export competitiveness and offers economic benefits.

    With over 90% of Heathrow cargo flying in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft, it is a vital part of making flights viable and sustainable.


    The Heathrow CargoCloud is a consolidation tool that allows shippers, trucking companies and freight forwarders to match loads to share capacity by providing transport data on loads travelling to and from Heathrow Airport. It is the UK’s first app of its kind and has helped:

    • Decrease the number of cargo-related vehicles on the roads around Heathrow;
    • Make cargo throughput times predictable to reduce costs;
    • Reduce transportation costs for forwarders;
    • Improve load factor.

    As the UK’s largest port for non-EU exports by value, the growth of Heathrow will have a direct effect on people across the UK. Heathrow’s future cargo plans and initiatives will assist in doubling cargo capacity, increase cargo long-haul destinations, and improve the sustainability of the freight community around the airport. This will aid Heathrow Airport in becoming one of Europe’s best airports for cargo.

    Find out more about the Heathrow CargoCloud here.