Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was named the most efficient cargo airport in the world for the third time in the last four years.

The honor was bestowed by Air Cargo Week magazine in ShanghaiChina, at the Air Cargo China Conference and Exhibition 2012.

Readers picked the winner based on investment in cargo services, special facilities, cargo clearance times and future development plans. Other finalists included Brussels, Belgium; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Incheon, South Korea.

Though it doesn’t even crack the top 30 cargo airports in the world by volume, it makes up for that in efficiency and regional reach. Three nearby interstates allow goods to be transported by truck to 80 percent of the U.S. population within a two-day drive from the airport, according to an airport news release. 

The airport recently opened the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, which is expected to handle larger volumes of international passengers in the coming years.

Air cargo has been a priority of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who has said he wants the airport’s economic engine running 24 hours a day.

The airport has scored some big wins since he took office in 2010, scoring flights from carriers like Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Asiana Airlines Inc., as well as the North American cargo headquarters of British Airways

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...