Many shoppers raced to get all of their Christmas shopping wrapped up ahead of the international postage deadline over the weekend and the UK's biggest airport is expecting a bumper month.
Heathrow's forecasting up to 132,000 tonnes of cargo going through it this December, up three per cent on last year. That would make a new record in air freight for the month at the airport, since 1991.
And looking at last year's top picks of seasonal exports and imports, fresh salmon will be flying. It was the single biggest export by weight at 2,980 tonnes in December, while knitted and crocheted items, dairy products including clotted cream and books also proved popular.
Exports of whiskey jumped by 76 per cent, or 128 tonnes, for the month too.
There are also various components of a festive feast flown in from across the world, including 1,680 tonnes of fresh berries (primarily cranberries from Chile), 839 tonnes of lamb and 830 tonnes of peas.
The top five UK export commodities by value expected to go through the airport this Christmas are:
- Parts of aircraft & aircraft turbo engines - (in December 2015, the value of these was £281m)
- Aircraft turbojets – (in December 2015, the value of these was £212m)
- Vaccines for human medicine – (in December 2015, the value of these was £160m)
- Medicine, measured doses or for retail sale – (in December 2015, the value of these was £130m)
- Paintings – (in December 2015, the value of these was £113m)
Nick Platts, head of cargo at Heathrow Airport said:
“We may be a long way from the North Pole, but the figures today underline Heathrow’s vital part in delivering Christmas to the UK, and the British Christmas to the world. Of course, our standing agreement with Santa Claus remains and we’ll prioritise his landing clearance come Christmas Eve.” Phew.