U.S. airlines carried 17% more cargo by weight in December 2020 (preliminary) than in December 2019. The rise was fueled by gains of 16% in domestic cargo and 20% in international cargo, according to data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 15 of the leading U.S. cargo airlines.
The 15 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.
December 2020 (preliminary) air cargo numbers for 15 U.S. carriers:
- Total: 1,854 thousand tons, up 16.9% from December 2019 (1,587T tons)
- Domestic: 1,420 thousand tons, up 15.9% from December 2019 (1,225T tons)
- International: 434 thousand tons, up 20.1% from December 2019 (362T tons)
For the pandemic period of May 2020 through December 2020, U.S. airlines carried 1,339 thousand more tons of cargo than in the same period in 2019, up 11%. They carried 13% more domestic cargo and 6% more international cargo.
For the full year 2020, U.S. airlines carried 1,276 thousand more tons of cargo than in 2019, up 7%. They carried 10% more domestic cargo and less than 1% more international cargo.
U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS. Final December data will be released on March 11. Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be release on June 10.
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 Feb. 4.
See the BTS Airlines and Airports page for additional U.S. airlines numbers through November for U.S. airlines. International data by origin and destination is available through August.
None of the data are from samples. Measures of statistical significance do not apply to the complete air traffic data.