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John F. Kennedy International Airport Was Top International Freight Gateway by Value in 2004, According to Bureau of Transportation Statistics


Monday, November 28, 2005 , John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York was the top international freight gateway by value in 2004, displacing the Port of Los Angeles, which was the top gateway in 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Transportationís Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), reported that JFK handled $52.7 billion in export trade and $72.6 billion in imports, totaling $125.3 billion in merchandise handled by the airport in 2004 (See Table).

JFK was number-one gateway for four years from 1999 to 2002 but the Port of Los Angeles took the top spot in 2003. In 2004, JFK handled about $4 billion more than the $121 billion worth of freight that moved through the Port of Los Angeles. Data are final except for all water ports, which are preliminary.

On a regional multimodal basis, ports in the Los Angeles area handled $57 billion more trade in 2004 than the air and water ports in the New York-New Jersey area. The water ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined with Los Angeles International Airport processed about $311 billion of trade, topping the combined $254 billion that moved through the New York-New Jersey area -- $125 billion through JFK, $15 billion through Newark-Liberty International airport and $113 billion through the water ports of New York and Newark, NJ.

The top 10 U.S. freight gateways serve as national and multi-state regional trade gateways, in addition to serving local markets. The top freight gateways handle freight originating or terminating far outside their local markets. For example, 70 percent of the value of shipments passing through Detroit, the busiest U.S. land port, originate or terminate outside Michigan. At Laredo, TX, the busiest U.S.-Mexico port, 75 percent of shipments by value start or end outside the state.

In 2004, nearly $2.3 trillion in U.S. exports and imports moved through more than 400 international freight gateways across the United States. The top 10 international freight gateways handled $954 billion or 42 percent of all U.S. international freight.

A list of the top 50 international freight gateways is available on the BTS website at

It can be found as an update to Table 1-47 of National Transportation Statistics.

Additional information on international freight and gateways is available at the International page of the BTS website,


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