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U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology
Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, based on data from
Oceanborne cargo-United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development, Review of Maritime Transport, various issues,
available at www.unctad.org/rmt as of Oct. 3, 2009.
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), special tabulations, Sept. 28, 2009.
- By weight, air carriers carry less global merchandise trade than ocean vessels. Air carriers
transport high value-per-ton commodities. During the past decade, however, the tonnage of
air cargo transported globally grew at a faster rate than total oceanborne cargo.
- Air cargo tonnage grew as demand for international express traffic increased and shippers
sought more time-definite deliveries. While ocean carriers provide lower transportation costs,
air carriers provide faster delivery times.
- Containerized cargo, a segment of the maritime industry that, like air cargo, includes high
value-per-ton goods, grew faster than air cargo and total oceanborne cargo during this period.