Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) was the sixth busiest international air cargo gateway in the United States by value of shipments, and the twentieth overall by value among all freight gateways—airports, seaports, and land ports in 2003. About 5 percent ($24 billion) of the value of all U.S. international merchandise air freight moved through DFW in 2003. By weight, DFW ranks sixteenth among air gateways, with 1 percent of U.S. international air cargo tonnage moving through it.
DFW is a major hub for trade with Europe as well as Pacific-Rim countries. By weight, the United Kingdom and Germany were the leading origin countries for imports as well as destination countries for exports handled at DFW on nonstop international flight segments in 2003. The two countries together accounted for 38 percent of the tonnage of air imports and 53 percent of air exports through DFW. Even though the major nonstop international segments end or start in Europe, Taiwan is the actual leading market for exports and imports moving through DFW.1 The major commodities moving through DFW include high-tech products such as semiconductors, computer equipment, aircraft parts, and medical and electrical equipment.2
Between 1999 and 2003, the value of shipments passing through DFW grew the most (by over 68 percent) compared to the other top 25 air, land, and sea gateways in the United States. Exports increased by 84 percent while imports increased by 56 percent. During the same period, the overall tonnage moving through DFW declined slightly by about 3 percent. The large increase in the value of DFW’s air cargo is primarily due to the high value electronic and computer-related merchandise imported and exported through DFW. By tonnage, between 1999 and 2003, the weight of air cargo passing through DFW declined 3 percent; imports fell by 10 percent while exports grew by about 5 percent.
American Airlines is the largest air freight carrier at DFW. In 2003, it moved over 57 percent of international merchandise tonnage through DFW. The other key air carriers include Lufthansa and Korean Air.
The strong presence of aircraft manufacturing and related industries and electronic industries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is likely to generate increasing air cargo through this freight gateway.
1 Based of Form 41 International Market Data from the Office of Airline Information, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
2 Metroport Transportation Partnership, Growth Trends in Metroport Cities, available from Center for Economic Development and Research, University of North Texas.