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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines Carried 10% More Cargo in February 2021 than February 2020 (Preliminary)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Release Number: BTS 28-21

 

  

U.S. airlines carried 10% more cargo by weight in February 2021 (preliminary) than in February 2020. The rise was fueled by gains of 5% in domestic cargo and 24% 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 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.

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

  • Total: 1,378 thousand tons, up 9.8% from February 2020 (1,255T tons)
  • Domestic: 991thousand tons, up 5.0% from February 2020 (944T tons)
  • International: 387 thousand tons, up 24.4% from February 2020 (311T tons)

 

  

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS.  Final February data will be released on May 13.  Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be release on Aug. 12.

Systemwide Cargo (Domestic + International)

  • February 2021 cargo:  1,378T tons
  • Change from February 2020:  +9.8%
  • Change from January 2021:  -13.7%
  • 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

13.5

February

9.3

-0.4

-0.4

9.8*

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

 -  

YTD Jan-Feb

10.0

2.4

-0.9

11.7

Annual

5.4

0.5

7.3

 -  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* February 2021 data is preliminary

 

 

Domestic Cargo

  • February 2021 cargo:  991T tons
  • Change from February 2020:  +5.0%
  • Change from January 2021:  -16.4%
  • Recent high:  December 2020 (1,420T tons)
  • Recent low:  February 2020 (944T tons)
  • Domestic as percent of total cargo February 2020:  75.2%
  • Domestic as percent of total cargo February 2021:  71.9%

 

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

12.6

February

9.0

0.7

1.9

5.0*

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

 -  

YTD Jan-Feb

9.7

3.6

1.2

9.0

Annual

5.0

2.4

9.8

 -  

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

* February 2021 data is preliminary

 

International Cargo

  • February 2021 cargo:  387T tons
  • Change from February 2020:  +24.4%
  • Change from January 2021:  -6.0%
  • Recent high:  November 2020 (447T tons)
  • Recent low:  February 2020 (311T tons)
  • Domestic as percent of total cargo February 2020:  24.8%
  • Domestic as percent of total cargo February 2021:  28.1%

 

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

16.2

February

10.2

-3.4

-6.7

24.4*

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

 -  

YTD Jan-Feb

10.8

-0.9

-6.7

20.0

Annual

6.4

-4.2

0.4

 -  

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

* February 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 April 12.

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