Key trade routes already full, argues Heathrow

Key trade routes already full, argues Heathrow

Britain’s exporters risk being held back by a lack of access to key trading markets, new data has revealed today.

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, the data shows that key routes from Heathrow to Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Tokyo Haneda and Dubai are virtually full and unable to accommodate further growth in trade.

Combined, these six routes alone account for nearly 18 per cent of Heathrow’s total cargo volumes.

The data underscores the importance of expanding Heathrow at pace to ensure that Britain can thrive as an outward looking trading nation after Brexit.

Heathrow is already the UK’s largest port by value – bigger than Felixstowe and Southampton combined – and handled over £106 billion worth of goods last year.


Access to global markets through Heathrow is particularly important for high-value goods and small and medium exporters and with 33 per cent of the UK’s non-EU exports already going through Heathrow, it is absolutely critical that Britain has the additional runway capacity at the airport to support further export growth to key markets.

Expanding Heathrow will double the airport’s cargo capacity and support up to 40 new long-haul trading links, helping to ensure that British exporters can reach new customers in fast-growing markets around the world.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow executive director, expansion, said: “Expanding Heathrow couldn’t be more important for Britain’s future, as we’re already seeing some of our most critical trading routes reach capacity.

“If we want Britain to thrive as a global trading powerhouse after Brexit, we need to get on with expanding Heathrow now.

“That starts with the government taking advantage of the consensus in parliament and scheduling a vote in parliament before the summer.

“With new capacity at our nation’s global gateway, we will unlock the trading opportunities that will underpin a prosperous future for all of Britain in the decades to come.”