Cargo & Logistics
Thanks to its geocentric location that puts 2/3rd of the world’s population within 8 hours by air, Dubai is perfectly positioned to play the role of one of the most preferred gateway and distribution hubs globally. Dubai is home to one of the world’s largest state-of-the-art air cargo centres that is ranked among the top hubs by the Airports Council International.
All pure cargo operators were moved to Dubai World Central, Dubai’s second airport, by May of 2014 while Dubai International (DXB) continued to handle a significant volume of belly-hold freight. That changed in early 2020 when the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated moving all cargo operations back to DXB until March of 2022. Together, the two airports now offer a combined capacity of 4.5 million tonnes annually with connectivity spanning 150 destinations worldwide via 100 international carriers.
Dubai International (DXB)
- The 35,000 square metres cargo facility at DXB was built in 1991 with a capacity for handling 150,000 tonnes.
- Dubai Airports opened the US$ 200 million Cargo Mega Terminal (CMT) in 2008. The CMT expanded DXB’s capacity by 1.2 million tonnes to a total of 2.5 million tonnes.
- A facility was added in 2016 which expanded the CMT’s capacity by 75,000 tonnes for Pharma and Perishable operations.
- DXB is home to dedicated facilities of FedEx (14,000 tonnes capacity) and DHL (75,000 tonnes capacity) on the north side of the airport.
- Other cargo facilities at DXB include Freight Gates (FG2, FG3, FG4, FG5) and the Dubai Flower Centre, where dnata handles cargo and perishables for all airlines. These facilities offer a combined annual capacity of 720,000 tonnes.
- The Air Cargo Terminal (ACT) cargo warehouse has a total of 56 truck docks for import, export and perishable cargo, and seven docks dedicated to sea-air traffic.
- A total of 57 docks in the CMT (21 general, 10 trucks and 12 perishables, 14 Pharma cargo handling).
- The warehouse facility (Agent’s Building) houses 65 freight forwarders while 61 freight forwarders are located in the office premises.
- Dubai Airports became the Middle East’s first cargo handling facility to be awarded an ISO 9002 certificate by Lloyd's Register of Quality Assurance in October 1998.
- The cargo facilities at DXB have a total annual capacity of 3.3 million tonnes.
- DXB welcomed 86.4 million passengers and moved 2.5 million tonnes of cargo on 373,000 flights during 2019.
- DXB has retained the title of the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic since 2014. DXB also ranks among the top ten International cargo hubs by freight volume.
Dubai Vaccine Centre (DVC) at DXB
- The new Cargo facilities at DVC have a total annual capacity of 140,000 tonnes.
- Temperature 2-8 Celsius
- Semiautomated ETV to connect Airside gates and DVC for a quick transfer of Units
- Direct access to through unit main deck ULD screening machines
- Customised pre-clearance procedures for vaccines
Dubai World Central (DWC)
- Dubai Airports launched cargo operations at DWC on June 27, 2010.
- The cargo facilities at DWC includes Emirates Sky Central and dnata’s Freight Gate 9 which together provide just over 1.25 million tonnes of annual capacity.
- DWC is home to 44 cargo operators that connect to as many as 329 cities around the world.
- The 144,000 square-metre passenger terminal at DWC has capacity for 26.5 million passengers per annum.
- DWC has 24 boarding gates and as many as 98 remote stands.
- The airport handled 1.6 million passengers, 911,570 tonnes of cargo on a total of 36,950 flights in 2019.
- DXB handled 910,000 tonnes of cargo in H1 2022, down 18.9% YoY. The drop was the result all freighter operations moving back to DWC by March and the reduction in bellyhold capacity due to the closure of DXB's Northern runway during May-June for a refurbishment project.
- In 2021 cargo volumes at DXB totaled 2.3m tonnes, up 20% YoY.
- DXB's cargo volumes reached 1.9m tonnes in 2020, down 23.2% YoY.
DXB Cargo 2019 (in tonnes)
DWC Cargo 2019 (in tonnes)