Heathrow has seen a 5.3 per cent increase in the volume of cargo in 2014, but new research conducted by the Airport suggests little public understanding of the scale and diversity of goods that are exported from the UK.
The new study, which was commissioned to coincide with launch of the UK Trade & Investment Export Week, found that 64 per cent of Brits have no idea what the UK exports across the world. The UK is Europe’s second biggest exporter, second only to Germany, and the fifth biggest exporter worldwide.
91 per cent of the public did not know that 408 tonnes of diamonds are transported by air across the world, the highest value export at over £4.3 billion. A further 52 per cent didn’t know that Heathrow exports 17,350 tonnes of fresh fish.
The top five items exported from Heathrow by value are jewellery and precious metals (including 71 tonnes of clocks and watches to Switzerland); machinery including engines, generators and boilers, medicines and pharmaceuticals; electrical machinery and equipment; and photographic and cinematographic equipment.
Air freight accounts for 40 per cent (or around £400 billion) of total UK imports and exports, of which Heathrow ships 66 per cent.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO for Heathrow said: “As the leading airport in the UK for air freight, we want to celebrate the significant role that exports play in growing the UK’s economy.
“26 per cent of UK exports by value go through Heathrow and if we expand the airport we can keep Britain at the heart of a shifting global economy and drive export led growth.”
To celebrate these incredible exports, Heathrow has installed an eye-catching piece of art designed to show the public the huge variety and value of items that pass through the airport. From whisky and salmon right the way through to car parts and Aston Martins.
The installation (pictured) in Heathrow Terminal 5 launches at the start UK Trade & Investment Exports Week on Monday 10th November will be in place until on Friday 23rd November.