Bureau of Transportation Statistics;

Airlines carried 7.3% less cargo by weight between the U.S. and foreign points in February 2020 than in February 2019, according to data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by large air carriers.

February 2020 cargo numbers by world geographic regions (by weight):

  • Total: 593 thousand tons, down 7.3% from February 2019 (640T tons)
  • Atlantic: 99.0 thousand tons, down 0.3% from February 2019 (99.3T tons)
  • Latin America: 50 thousand tons, unchanged from February 2019 (50T tons)
  • Pacific (including China): 60 thousand tons, down 24% from February 2019 (79T tons)
  • China: 44 thousand tons, down 22% from February 2019 (57T tons)

Air cargo reports are filed monthly with BTS. Final February data will be released on May 14.  Complete international data by origin and destination will be released on Aug. 13. Cargo data in this release consists of cargo carried between the U.S. and foreign points.

Total Cargo to and from the U.S.

February 2020 would be the 16th consecutive month that the weight of cargo carried on U.S. and foreign airlines between the U.S. and foreign points declined from the same month of the previous year. The year-to-year decline of 7.3% from February 2019 would be a larger decrease than the 6.1% decline from January 2019 to January 2020.

Table 1: Total Cargo to and from the U.S.: Percent Change from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2020Change in Weight of Cargo on U.S. and Foreign AirlinesCargo= Freight + MailYear-to-Year Percent Change

 

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 7.4 13.3 -2.1 -6.1
February 6.3 14.2 -4.5 -7.3*
March 10.0 11.7 -1.9  
April 6.3 13.0 -10.0  
May 10.9 12.3 -6.5  
June 11.1 9.3 -7.7  
July 11.9 4.4 -8.4  
August 13.3 4.7 -5.3  
September 9.5 5.8 -10.6  
October 13.9 1.2 -11.8  
November 20.2 -9.4 -4.0  
December 14.5 -2.2 -8.6  
Annual 11.5 5.9 -6.9  

 Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market (All Carriers)* February 2020 data is preliminary  

Atlantic Region Cargo

February 2020 would be the 17th consecutive month that the weight of cargo carried on U.S. and foreign airlines between the U.S. and the Atlantic region declined from the same month of the previous year. The year-to-year decline of 0.3% from February 2019 would be the smallest decrease in those 17 months.

Table 2: Atlantic Region Cargo to and from the U.S.: Percent Change from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2017-2020Change in Weight of Cargo on U.S. and Foreign AirlinesCargo= Freight + MailYear-to-Year Percent Change

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 10.5 7.4 -3.3 -5.8
February 6.3 7.0 -1.2 -0.3*
March 15.2 7.5 -5.3  
April 10.8 3.2 -7.3  
May 18.3 0.9 -7.5  
June 16.7 3.0 -13.6  
July 15.1 -1.5 -9.9  
August 14.6 1.0 -9.9  
September 8.3 1.1 -15.3  
October 12.0 -1.9 -12.5  
November 12.4 -4.7 -7.5  
December 5.3 -2.3 -10.1  
Annual 12.1 1.6 -8.8  

 Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market (All Carriers)* February 2020 data is preliminary 

Latin America Region

Cargo by weight between the U.S. and Latin America was unchanged in February 2020 from February 2019 after three consecutive year-to-year declines. Previously, U.S.-Latin America cargo declined from the same month of the previous year in 15 of the 18 months through January 2020.

Table 3: Latin America Region Cargo to and from the U.S.: Percent Change from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2016-2020Change in Weight of Cargo on U.S. and Foreign AirlinesCargo= Freight + MailYear-to-Year Percent Change

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 0.6 12.3 -3.8 -5.0
February 8.3 11.5 -6.9 0.0*
March 14.3 5.8 -6.2  
April 4.0 16.9 -29.6  
May 2.6 -11.9 17.4  
June -0.1 0.3 -3.7  
July -20.9 24.8 -5.8  
August -1.8 -3.0 -3.1  
September -7.9 1.7 -6.1  
October 40.8 -13.2 -10.5  
November 7.3 -9.1 0.1  
December 10.2 -4.0 -6.4  
Annual 4.1 1.6 -5.8  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market (All Carriers)* February 2020 data is preliminary

Pacific Region (including China)

February 2020 would be the 13th consecutive month that the weight of cargo carried on U.S. and foreign airlines between the U.S. and the Pacific region declined from the same month of the previous year. The 24% decline from February 2019 would be the largest year-to-year decline during that time.

Table 4: Pacific Region Cargo to and from the U.S.: Percent Change from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2016-2020 (including China)Change in Weight of Cargo on U.S. and Foreign AirlinesCargo= Freight + MailYear-to-Year Percent Change

 

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 17.1 6.5 0.7 -7.3
February 20.0 0.7 -7.3 -24.1*
March 10.3 -0.1 -2.5  
April 8.1 -0.1 -4.1  
May 10.8 0.5 -2.8  
June 12.9 1.4 -4.8  
July 11.3 3.6 -3.5  
August 10.5 4.2 -5.3  
September 11.4 2.0 -18.1  
October 1.1 4.2 -18.8  
November 7.0 -1.8 -20.7  
December 7.8 -0.8 -5.9  
Annual 10.2 1.6 -7.9  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market (All Carriers)* February 2020 data is preliminary  

China

February 2020 would be the third consecutive month and the 15th out of 16 months that the weight of cargo carried on U.S. and foreign airlines between the U.S. and China declined from the same month of the previous year. The 22% decline from February 2019 would be the largest year-to-year decline during that time. During February 2020, 69% of the freight was flown from China to the U.S. while 31% was carried from the U.S. to China.

Table 5: China Cargo to and from the U.S.: Percent Change from the Same Month of the Previous Year 2016-2020Change in Weight of Cargo on U.S. and Foreign AirlinesCargo= Freight + MailYear-to-Year Percent Change

 

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 6.2 30.1 -2.0 -11.8
February 20.8 20.0 -10.9 -22.0*
March 8.5 21.4 -1.6  
April 15.7 14.4 -1.5  
May 24.3 16.3 -4.7  
June 19.9 17.9 -4.0  
July 31.2 9.3 -9.2  
August 18.8 21.2 -6.9  
September 18.8 18.6 -10.0  
October 19.1 6.2 -7.2  
November 13.5 -6.8 2.9  
December 20.1 2.4 -3.8  
Annual 17.9 13.2 -4.4  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market (All Carriers)* February 2020 data is preliminary 

China Air Cargo to U.S. Cities

Los Angeles was top city for air cargo shipments by weight from China in February 2019 but it would be surpassed by Chicago and Anchorage, Alaska, in February 2020.     

U.S. Cities Air Cargo Shipments from ChinaWeight in pounds

US Cities February 2019 February 2020
Los Angeles, CA 22,604,244 14,618,032
Anchorage, AK 19,206,323 18,170,862
Chicago, IL 18,342,982 22,685,195
New York, NY 6,986,832 3,892,925
San Francisco, CA 3,386,287 268,109
Memphis, TN 3,155,447 *
Atlanta, GA 2,263,624 23,186
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 1,758,327 *
Oakland, CA 1,426,440 *
Newark, NJ 1,210,869 *
Houston, TX 1,090,742 *
Washington, DC 978,192 *
Detroit, MI 900,431 *
Seattle, WA 784,261 62,131
Boston, MA 337,331 *
San Jose, CA 199,278 *
Honolulu, HI 107,967 *
Denver, CO 106,656 *

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market (All Carriers)* February 2020 data is preliminary 

Note: February 2020 data is withheld due to confidentiality restrictions if fewer than three airlines provide service to the city

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and cargo traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 15 U.S. airlines as of April 17.

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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