Figure 7
Worldwide Overseas Oceanborne and Air Cargo by Weight: 1995-2007

Figure 7
Worldwide Overseas Oceanborne and Air Cargo by Weight: 1995-2007

Excel | CSV | Graphic Version

Index 1995=100

Year World oceanborne cargo (million tons) World air cargo (million tons) World TEUs (millions) World vessel cargo World air cargo World TEUs
1995 4,651 14 137 100 100 100
1996 4,758 15 151 102 105 110
1997 4,953 17 161 106 121 117
1998 5,631 18 170 121 123 124
1999 5,683 19 185 122 133 135
2000 5,984 21 234 129 145 170
2001 5,891 20 245 127 139 179
2002 5,948 21 270 128 145 196
2003 6,598 22 307 142 151 224
2004 6,893 24 301 148 168 219
2005 7,122 25 306 153 174 223
2006 7,761 26 426 167 184 311
2007 8,032 28 437 173 194 318

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, based on data from various sources. 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. Air cargo-International 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.