On Valentine’s Day this year, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is honoring some of its great loves: the cargo carriers that bring economic vitality to the airport and the city it serves. 

During a three-hour Air Cargo Appreciation Day and Expo Feb. 14, the airport will dole out awards for the passenger airline of the year, all-cargo airline of the year, freight forwarder of the year and trucking company of the year. 

Raising the airport’s cargo profile has been a priority of Mayor Kasim Reed, who wants to see it operating optimally 24 hours a day. The airport has no slot or curfew restrictions for cargo carriers. Many of them arrive in the wee hours of the morning. 

In recent years the airport has won routes from new dedicated cargo carriers, including Korea‘s Asiana Airlines and Germany‘s Cargolux. Still, cargo volumes for 2012 were down 2.5 percent to 646,481 metric tons as Europe struggled and firms manufactured and purchased less, the airport said in a news release. 

The airport recently announced that it was still the busiest in the world in 2012 by passengers and “operations,” or takeoffs and landings. 

Read more: Atlanta Keeps Busiest Airport Title As Beijing’s Ascent Slows 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...