East Midlands Airport – Santa’s big helpers


With everyone being bombarded by Black Friday offers and Christmas just round the corner, many will be relying on next-day delivery of gifts and goods in the coming weeks – and that’s where East Midlands Airport (EMA) comes to Santa’s help.

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EMA is home to the UK’s largest dedicated air cargo hub, providing connections to 185 of the world’s largest cities, from New York, Singapore and Dubai to Tokyo, Paris and Mumbai.

More than one million individual packages are handled every night at EMA – totalling more than 400,000 tonnes a year. That’s because the three logistics giants DHL, UPS and FedEx have based their UK hubs at EMA, along with others including Royal Mail and Amazon operating out of the airport.

In the run-up to Christmas, the sorts of goods coming through the airport shifts more to e-commerce items, requiring more ‘just-in-time’ deliveries. This means that the already busy cargo operation that largely runs from dusk until dawn becomes even more frenetic. Handling more, smaller parcels which need to get in and out of the airport quickly makes the operation more intense and labour-intensive during this period.

A growing number of major logistics firms located on and around the airport are poised and ready to move goods quickly and efficiently. Trucks loaded with the goods that people have ordered as gifts are quickly onto the motorway network right next to EMA and can reach 90% of the population of England and Wales within four hours.

EMA’s Managing Director Steve Griffiths said: “EMA plays a vital role every Christmas time – you could say we’re Santa’s big helpers.

“With the main logistics companies using EMA as their main UK hub, if you order gifts for your loved ones for next day delivery, there’s a good chance it will come through here. We are perfectly placed to not only handle good from all corners of the globe, but also get them quickly to every part of the country.

“We’re proud of the Christmas magic that’s performed here while everyone is sleeping which helps to spread some festive joy around the country.”