Incheon eager to please, eager to grow

Strategically located as it is, smack in the middle between the two economic powerhouses of China and Japan with unsurpassed global connectivity, carrier friendly incentives and the fastest customs clearance in the world, you would think selling Incheon as a cargo hub would be a breeze. Donald Urquhart has the story.

cargo hub Incheon

Despite its first class facilities, services and business friendly policies, Incheon Int’l Airport (ICN) has often found itself in the shadow of more traditional hubs in the region, but this is changing as companies look to extract the ultimate value out of their supply chains.

“Even though we have gotten rid of many regulations and significantly improved the business environment, it seems like people tend to bring traditional hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore into their mind when they were asked to name cargo hubs in Asia,” an Incheon spokesperson told Payload Asia.

There is of course a certain irony in this, considering that Incheon is ranked as the fourth largest cargo airport in the world behind number one Memphis (thanks to FedEx), Hong Kong and Shanghai and ahead of Charles de Gaulle, Tokyo Narita, Frankfurt, Louisville (UPS), Miami and Singapore which comes in at number 10.

Last year Incheon’s five cargo terminals with 36 cargo stands covering over 1.1 million square metres handled 2.56 million tonnes of cargo, a 9.4 per cent gain over the previous year and effectively would have maxed out the capacity of the airport had Incheon not expanded its capacity last year to 4.1 million tonnes.