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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines Carried 13% More Cargo in January 2021 than January 2020

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Release Date: BTS 22-21

 

 

U.S. airlines carried 13% more cargo by weight in January 2021 (preliminary) than in January 2020.  The rise was fueled by gains of 12% in domestic cargo and 15% in international cargo, according to data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 14 of the leading U.S. cargo airlines.

The 14 airlines carry 95% of the total cargo by weight on U.S. airlines. Cargo data consists of freight and mail carried within the U.S. and between the U.S. and foreign points.

January 2021 (preliminary) air cargo numbers for 14 U.S. carriers:

  • Total: 1,593 thousand tons, up 13.2% from January 2020 (1,407T tons)
  • Domestic: 1,184 thousand tons, up 12.4% from January 2020 (1,053T tons)
  • International: 409 thousand tons, up 15.4% from January 2020 (355T tons)

  

 

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS.  Final January data will be released on April 15.  Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be release on July 16.

Systemwide Cargo (Domestic + International)
January 2021 cargo: 1,593T tons (preliminary)
Change from January 2020: +13.2%
Change from December 2020: -14.1%
Recent high: December 2020 (1,854T tons)
Recent low: February 2020 (1,297T tons)

 

 

Table 1: Systemwide Percent Change in US Airlines Cargo by Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2021

Cargo = Freight + Mail

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

10.6

4.9

-1.4

13.2*

February

9.3

-0.4

-0.4

 -  

March

5.7

-0.3

-1.4

 -  

April

5.7

4.5

-1.3

 -  

May

9.0

3.1

1.2

 -  

June

5.6

-1.2

9.5

 -  

July

6.6

3.6

12.8

 -  

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

 -  

Annual

5.4

0.5

7.3

 -  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* January 2021 data is preliminary

 

Domestic Cargo
January 2021 cargo: 1,184T tons (preliminary)
Change from January 2020: 12.4%
Change from December 2020: -16.6%
Recent high: December 2020 (1,420T tons)
Recent low: February 2020 (977T tons)
Domestic as percent of total cargo January 2020: 74.8%
Domestic as percent of total cargo January 2021: 74.3%

 

 

Table 2: Domestic Percent Change in US Airlines Cargo by Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2021

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

12.4*

February

9.0

0.7

1.9

 -  

March

3.9

-0.2

3.4

 -  

April

4.9

8.2

3.8

 -  

May

9.0

4.6

4.7

 -  

June

4.6

0.7

13.3

 -  

July

6.7

6.7

15.8

 -  

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

 -  

Annual

5.0

2.4

9.8

 -  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

* January 2021 data is preliminary

 

International Cargo)
January 2021 cargo: 409T tons (preliminary)
Change from January 2020: 15.4%
Change from December 2020: -5.8%
Recent high: November 2020 (447T tons)
Recent low: February 2020 (311T tons)
Domestic as percent of total cargo January 2020: 25.2%

 

 

 

Table 3: International Percent Change in US Airlines Cargo by Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2021

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

15.4*

February

10.2

-3.4

-6.7

 -  

March

10.6

-0.5

-13.6

 -  

April

7.7

-4.5

-15.4

 -  

May

8.9

-1.0

-8.4

 -  

June

8.4

-5.7

-0.7

 -  

July

6.5

-4.1

4.5

 -  

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

 -  

Annual

6.4

-4.2

0.4

 -  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* December 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 14 U.S. airlines as of March 12.

See the BTS Airlines and Airports page for additional U.S. airlines numbers through December for U.S. airlines. International data by origin and destination is available through September.

None of the data are from samples. Measures of statistical significance do not apply to the complete air traffic data.