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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines Carried 4% More Cargo in July 2021 than in July 2020 (Preliminary)

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

BTS 59-21
Contact: Todd Solomon
Tel:  202-366-0573
todd.solomon@dot.gov

 

Streak of Year-Over-Year Growth Extends to 15th Consecutive Month

 

U.S. Airlines Carried 4% more cargo by weight in July 2021 (preliminary) than in July 2020.  The rise was fueled by gains of 1% in domestic cargo and 13% in international cargo, according to data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 15 of the leading U.S. cargo airlines.

 

The preliminary data are based on data submitted by15 airlines that carry 95% of the total cargo by weight transported on U.S. airlines. Cargo data consists of freight and mail carried within the U.S. and between the U.S. and foreign points.

 

July 2021 (preliminary) air cargo numbers for 15 U.S. cargo carriers:

  • Total: 1,709 thousand tons, up 4.0% from July 2020 (1,643T tons)
  • Domestic: 1,249 thousand tons, up 1.1% from July 2020 (1,235T tons)
  • International: 461 thousand tons, up 12.9% from July 2020 (408T tons)

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS.  Final July data will be released on October 15.  Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be released in January 2022.

 

Systemwide Cargo (Domestic + International)

  • July 2021 cargo:  1,709T tons
  • Change from July 2020:  +4%
  • Change from June 2021:  +4.2%
  • Recent high: December 2020 (1,854T tons)
  • Recent low: February 2020 (1,255T tons)

 

Table 1: Systemwide Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Cargo by Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2020
Cargo = Freight + Mail

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

10.6

4.9

-1.4

13.4

February

9.3

-0.4

-0.4

9.5

March

5.7

-0.3

-1.4

21.0

April

5.7

4.5

-1.3

20.0

May

9.0

3.1

1.2

7.4

June

5.6

-1.2

9.5

4.3

July

6.6

3.6

12.8

4.0*

August

4.8

0.2

5.7

 -  

September

4.9

-4.5

18.6

 -  

October

5.7

-1.2

13.0

 -  

November

-0.7

-2.2

13.0

 -  

December

0.2

0.7

16.9

 -  

YTD Jan - Jul

7.4

2.0

2.8

11.1

Annual

5.4

0.5

7.3

 -  

 Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market
* July 2021 data is preliminary

 

Domestic Cargo

  • July 2021 cargo:  1,249T tons
  • Change from July 2020:  +1.1%
  • Change from June 2021:  +3.8%
  • Recent high: December 2020 (1,420T tons)
  • Recent low: February 2020 (944T tons)
  • Domestic as percent of total cargo July 2020:  75.2%
  • Domestic as percent of total cargo July 2021:  73.1%

 

Table 2: Domestic Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Cargo by Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2020
Domestic cargo has a U.S. origin and U.S. destination
Cargo = Freight + Mail

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

10.3

6.2

0.5

12.5

February

9.0

0.7

1.9

4.7

March

3.9

-0.2

3.4

15.9

April

4.9

8.2

3.8

12.6

May

9.0

4.6

4.7

2.0

June

4.6

0.7

13.3

1.5

July

6.7

6.7

15.8

1.1*

August

4.7

0.2

7.2

 -  

September

4.1

-2.8

21.7

 -  

October

6.1

1.7

14.3

 -  

November

-0.4

-1.6

13.6

 -  

December

0.1

4.6

15.9

 -  

Jan - Jul

6.8

3.8

6.3

7.0

Annual

5.0

2.4

9.8

 -  

 Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market
* July 2021 data is preliminary

 

International Cargo

  • July 2021 cargo:  461T tons
  • Change from July 2020:  +12.9%
  • Change from June 2021:  +5.3%
  • Recent high: November 2020 (447T tons)
  • Recent low: February 2020 (311T tons)
  • International as percent of total cargo July 2020:  24.8%
  • International as percent of total cargo July 2021:  26.9%

 

Table 3: International Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Cargo by Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2020
International cargo on a U.S. airline is carried between a U.S. airport and a foreign airport.
Cargo = Freight + Mail

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

11.3

1.5

-6.7

16.0

February

10.2

-3.4

-6.7

24.0

March

10.6

-0.5

-13.6

36.9

April

7.7

-4.5

-15.4

44.6

May

8.9

-1.0

-8.4

24.6

June

8.4

-5.7

-0.7

13.0

July

6.5

-4.1

4.5

12.9*

August

5.2

0.1

1.6

 -  

September

6.8

-8.8

10.5

 -  

October

4.6

-8.7

9.5

 -  

November

-1.5

-3.7

11.4

 -  

December

0.4

-10.7

20.1

 -  

YTD Jan - Jul

9.0

-2.5

-6.7

23.9

Annual

6.4

-4.2

0.4

-32.6

 Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market
* July data is preliminary

 

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 15 U.S. airlines as of May13.

 

See the BTS Airlines and Airports page for additional U.S. airlines numbers through February 2021 for U.S. airlines. International data by origin and destination is available through November 2020.

 

None of the data are from samples. Measures of statistical significance do not apply to the complete air traffic data. Numbers in this release are not seasonally-adjusted.