Top 10 cargo airports in the U.S
While Hartsfield-Jackson Interna...
America’s busiest passenger airports are not necessarily the most important in terms of transporting cargo from A to B.
While Hartsfield-Jackson International airport in Atlanta is the runaway leader in terms of passenger throughput, with well over 100 million people passing through every year, it does not appear anywhere in the top 10 busiest air cargo hubs in the country.
Conversely, Memphis International is home to FedEx Express and does not rank among the top passenger airports, not helped by Delta dropping it as a hub airport. In 2015 it saw 3.75 million passengers through its gates, a snip of Hartsfield-Jackson’s 100+ million.
The Federal Aviation Administration collates and ranks data to determine how busy airports are in terms of passengers and cargo, the latter measured in pounds of goods.
While the organisation has not released data beyond the end of the 2014 as it is currently compiling 2015 reporting figures, the following airports are currently understood to handle the most amount of cargo:
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas. Handled 3.06 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, a slight decrease of 0.81 percent year-on-year.
- JFK International Airport (JFK), New York. Handled 3.37 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, representing a drop of 3.49 percent on the previous year.
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Ohio. Handled 3.42 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, an increase of 7.35 percent on the previous year.
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California. Handled 4.20 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, a drop of 0.13 percent year-on-year.
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indiana. Handled 5.27 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, an increase of 6.66 percent.
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida. Handled 6.84 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, down by 4.21 percent year-on-year.
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Illinois. Handled 6.86 billion pounds of cargo handled in 2014, a huge increase of 50.69 percent on the previous the year.
- Louisville International Airport (SDF), Kentucky. Handled 11.26 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, up by 1.52 percent year-on-year.
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), Alaska. Handled 15.98 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, a decrease of 3.27 percent on the previous year.
- Memphis International Airport (MEM), Tennessee. Handled 21.89 billion pounds of cargo in 2014, an increase of 4.33 percent on the previous year.
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Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany