British Christmas joy shipped to the world via Heathrow Airport

Countries around the world simply cannot get enough of a British Christmas and are importing the best bits of our festive traditions in growing numbers. Over 144,000 tonnes – the equivalent of 68 London Eyes – of British festive products are set to be exported through Heathrow this year alone. This is up approximately 3% over last year – demonstrating Heathrow’s vital role, in supporting Christmas festivities across the globe.

Analysis of Seabury cargo data from November and December 2018 reveals a surge in the export of British Christmas essentials and stocking fillers ahead of the holiday period, including:

• Children’s toys – 91,000 kg exported through Heathrow – equivalent to approximately seven New London Routemaster buses

• Christmas tree lighting – 446 kg exported through Heathrow – equivalent to approximately 34 male Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s

• Whiskey, with 116,000 kg exported through Heathrow – equal to the average weight of approximately 5 Stonehenge stones

• Fresh Salmon – 4,942,000 kg exported through Heathrow – equal to the weight of approximately 114 Caledonian sleeper trains (CAF Mark 5 model).

• Game Meat – 11,000 kg exported through Heathrow – equal to the weight of approximately 5 London Black Cabs (T4X model)

Whilst capturing a of piece of British Christmas magic helps support exports over the festive period, Britons themselves are set to import nearly 60 tonnes of chocolate to indulge in over the holidays, and 130 tonnes of playing cards to enjoy at festive parties.

For the third year running, Heathrow is celebrating the vast array of UK companies that choose to export via the airport with its “12 Exporters of Christmas” social media campaign #12ExportersofChristmas. The campaign features the success stories of SMEs like salmon exporters Mowi Scotland or bespoke jewelry maker Farah Qureshi Jewellery and how these companies work with Heathrow – especially around Christmas time – to get their products quickly and safely across the world.

Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker said:

“Christmas is always a busy time of year for passengers as they travel to be with family and friends, but it’s also when the unseen magic of the holidays comes to life. Right underneath your feet on your next flight will be examples of the best of British Christmas being sent to the rest of the world. We’re proud to support Britain’s small businesses as they supply Christmas essentials to the rest of the world and invite you to experience the magic yourself of our 12 Exporters of Christmas.”

Heathrow’s latest Trade Tracker, compiled by the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), reveals the total value of trade through Heathrow up to June this year equaled £118.7 billion, the equivalent of 30% of the total UK trade.* Pharmaceutical products formed a major part of Heathrow’s just in time freight operation, with over 80,000 tonnes travelling through Heathrow last year. The top pharmaceutical products being exported from Heathrow including vaccines, have a value of £1.7 billion in the first half of 2019. Christmas at the airport is not just a busy time for festive British commodities, but also for life saving essentials. For the first time ever, the data reveals Heathrow’s monthly exports surpassed £5 billion in value, highlighting Heathrow’s pivotal role in facilitating trade outside of the EU.

Heathrow’s top 5 destinations exports are flying to, which totaled £32.4 billion in value in the first half of 2019:

• United States (£9,390 billion)
• China (£4,816 billion)
• EU (£3,591 billion) *estimate*
• Hong Kong (£2,673 billion)
• UAE (£2,673 billion)