Air freight is growing rapidly as U.S. businesses seek timely delivery of valuable goods, creating greater demand for truck and intermodal services.
Air's share of all commercial freight activity in the United States for 2002:
In 2002, air freight shipments were valued at over $770 billion, nearly double the $395 billion total for 1993. And this growth is expected to continue as U.S. international trade grows and demand for timely deliveries increase.
Although air freight's overall tons and ton-miles totals remains small (less than 1 percent) compared to annual totals for other transportation modes, use of air cargo continues to grow. From 1993 to 2002, totals for tonnage grew about 46 percent and totals for ton-miles—by about 63 percent.
The value of goods shipped—by U.S. business also grew, from $56,000 per ton in 1993 to $75,000 per ton in 2002. And because most air shipments begin and end their journeys by truck, air freight growth creates growth in truck and intermodal services.