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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines Carried 13% More Cargo in October 2020 than in October 2019

Thursday, December 10, 2020
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020

U.S. airlines carried 13% more cargo by weight in October 2020 (preliminary) than in October 2019. The rise was fueled by gains of 14% in domestic cargo and 9% 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.

 

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

Systemwide Cargo (Domestic + International)
October 2020 cargo: 1,697T tons
Change from October 2019: +12.7%
Change from September 2020: +1.3%
Recent high: July 2020 (1,699T tons)
Recent low: February 2020 (1,297T tons)
 

 

Table 1: Systemwide Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Cargo Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2016-2020
Cargo = Freight + Mail
Year-to-Year Percent Change
 2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-2020
January6.410.55.1-0.5
February6.19.2-0.3-0.1
March8.05.8-0.2-1.9
April2.65.94.40.9
May10.89.03.19.1
June6.85.5-1.112.8
July6.96.73.55.3
August9.75.00.218.1
September4.35.0-4.412.7*
October10.65.5-1.2 
November10.6-0.6-2.3 
December5.60.30.7 
Jan-Oct7.26.70.95.0
Annual7.45.40.6 
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market
* October 2020 data is preliminary
 
Domestic Cargo
October 2020 cargo: 1,277T tons
Change from October 2019: +14.0%
Change from September 2020: +1.9%%
Recent high: July 2020 (1,282T tons)
Recent low: February 2020 (977T tons)
Domestic as percent of total cargo October 2019: 74.4%
Domestic as percent of total cargo October 2020: 75.3%
 
Table 2: Domestic Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Cargo Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2016-2020
Domestic cargo has a U.S. origin and U.S. destination 
Cargo = Freight + Mail
Year-to-Year Percent Change
 2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-2020
January4.610.46.12.8
February4.98.70.72.2
March7.14.0-0.43.1
April1.54.97.73.1
May10.88.94.54.2
June5.44.50.512.7
July5.26.76.215.8
August9.44.80.16.6
September3.34.3-2.921.1
October11.15.71.814.0*
November11.3-0.1-1.8 
December5.10.14.5 
Jan-Oct6.46.22.48.0
Annual6.75.02.2 
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market
* October 2020 data is preliminary
 
International Cargo
October 2020 cargo: 420T tons
Change from October 2019: +8.7% 
Change from September 2020: -0.5%
Recent high: September 2020 (422T tons)
Recent low: February 2020 (319T tons)
International as percent of total cargo October 2019: 25.6% 
International as percent of total cargo October 2020: 24.7%
 
Table 3: International Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Cargo Weight from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2016-2020
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
 2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-2020
January11.410.62.2-9.8
February9.610.4-3.1-6.3
March10.510.70.4-13.9
April5.38.2-3.9-15.7
May11.09.2-0.6-8.3
June10.88.2-5.2-0.6
July11.36.7-3.64.5
August10.65.60.41.7
September7.27.0-8.310.2
October9.45.0-8.78.7*
November8.8-1.8-3.5 
December7.20.9-10.6 
Jan-Oct9.78.0-3.1-3.6
Annual9.46.5-3.8 
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market
* October 2020 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 Dec. 3.

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

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