MIAMI – Earlier in the pandemic, Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) saw more aircraft movements than major passenger hubs.

Graced by its geography – an easy connection point between Europe, the Americas and Asia – the airport is now reporting record cargo volume as a result.

Anchorage International announced that more than 3.48 million tons of air cargo landed at ANC in 2020 – up 16 percent from the record-setting volumes of 2019.

Airport Director Jim Szczesniak says three key factors fueled the growth: e-commerce, shipments of personal protective equipment, and cargo displaced from idled passenger aircraft.

“The pandemic has left an indelible mark on the e-commerce landscape, accelerating market growth—reaching numbers not forecast to be seen in the U.S. for another two years,” he says.

“We expect our cargo numbers to remain strong into 2021 as the air cargo industry continues to recognize the benefits and efficiencies of ANC, as e-commerce shopping becomes routine, (and) as international travel restrictions continue to displace belly cargo.”

Photo By Frank K. from Anchorage, Alaska, USA – Anchorage International Airport and Cook Inlet, CC BY 2.0,

Center of Air Cargo

ANC is touting its airport as the Center of the Air Cargo World, just 9.5 hours from 90 percent of the industrialized world. ANC – a favorite of spotters – has more than 200 widebody freighter operations daily to more than 50 destinations.

“We continue to grow the benefits of utilizing ANC for our existing cargo customers, and to attract new customers,” Szczesniak says. “We have more than $1-billion of private air cargo development proposed for ANC,” including a new 700,000-square-foot cold storage facility.

“These developments will provide the infrastructure to streamline the global supply chain and make ANC a staple in the cold chain,” the airport director adds.

“These warehouse facilities will provide cargo carriers, freight forwarders, pharmaceutical, and other industry partners infrastructure required to leverage ANC’s strategic location and liberalized cargo transfer rights to consolidate cargo shipments here and ship nearer to the end customer.”

To know more about ANC, we invite you to read an in-depth look at the airport by Trevor Ogle, detailing its history and status as an air crossroads of the cargo world.

Featured image: Airways Magazine Print edition