Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Texas-Air Freight Gateway

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Texas-Air Freight Gateway

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) was the eighth busiest international air cargo gateway in the United States by value of shipments in 2008. It ranked 24th by value among all air, land, and sea freight gateways.

In 2008, about 5 percent of the value of all U.S. international merchandise air freight moved through DFW. More than $39 billion worth of merchandise trade passed through DFW in 2008, a decrease of 5 percent from $41 billion in 2007. Exports decreased 10 percent, and imports fell 1 percent (USDOC CB 2009b).1 By weight, DFW ranked 13th among air gateways, handling 2 percent of U.S. international air cargo tonnage (table 1).2 It handled about 141,000 tons of international air cargo in 2008, up 17 percent from 2007 (table 2).

In 2008, DFW remained a major hub for trade with European and Pacific Rim countries. By weight, Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom were the leading destination countries for export and import cargo handled at DFW on nonstop international flight segments (table 3). The major origin and destination city segments were Frankfurt, Brussels, and London (table 4). Although the major nonstop international segments ended or started in Europe, Taiwan was the actual leading market for exports and imports handled at DFW.3 This indicates that the European airports also serve as connecting hubs for air cargo from other markets.

Major commodities handled at DFW include high-tech products such as semiconductors, computer equipment, aircraft parts, and medical and electrical equipment.4 Other merchandise traded through DFW includes equipment for oil fields, communications, and transportation, as well as industrial goods.5 The strong presence of aircraft manufacturing and related industries and electronic industries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are likely to sustain the air cargo handled at this freight gateway.

In 2008, American Airlines was the largest air freight carrier at DFW, followed by Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines (table 5).

1 The 2007 data used in this comparison are not presented in table 1. The data are available online in the gateways database at www.bts.gov.

2 Ranking of air gateways by weight is available in table 9 of this report's overview section.

3 This information is based on Form 41 International Market Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information. Origin-destination airport-pair data by value are not available from the merchandise trade data. See box 2, page 15, for further discussion of the segment and market data.

4 Metroport Transportation Partnership, Growth Trends in the Metroport Cities: Implications for Traffic Congestion, the "Funnel," And DFW Airport, January 2000, available from Center for Economic Development and Research, University of North Texas, at www.unt.edu/cedr/reports.htm as of July 20, 2009.

5 Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Trade Data, available at www.dfwairport.com/cargo/trade.php as of July 20, 2009.