STUDY: U.S. DOMESTIC AIR BUSINESS SAW SECOND-HALF DROP in 2000
U.S. domestic air cargo saw a moderate 3.1-percent increase in volume in 2000, but the economic doldrums stalled growth in the second half last year, according to a recent study by The Colography Group.
Nearly 3.0 billion U.S. domestic air cargo shipments, weighing 20.7 billion pounds were handled last year, the group said in its semi-annual report on U.S. air cargo trends. However, market growth slowed from 7.7 percent in the first quarter to a 1.4-percent decline in the fourth quarter.
Freight volumes, or shipments weighing 71 pounds or more, fell 1.6 percent in 2000, while package traffic (shipments of between 2 and 70 pounds) grew 3.5 percent. Letter and envelope shipments rose 2.5 percent. Total domestic shipments moved by air grew 3.6 percent.
The economic downturn hit ground parcel and less-than-truckload traffic as well, the Colography group said.
Fuel surcharges, which offset dramatically rising fuel prices, also inflated revenues, which created the illusion of yield improvements, the group said. U.S. air revenue grew 5.3 percent to $33.9 billion. Package revenue rose 6.7 percent and letter/envelop revenue rose 4.5 percent. Freight revenue was flat.
Heavy freight is being pressed from two sides, said Ted Scherck, president of The Colography Group. “Decentralization of distribution is resulting in a shorter average length of haul, putting a growing percentage of domestic freight shipments in the regional ground parcel and LTL carriers,” he said. Meanwhile, the shift toward shipping directly to customers and in smaller increments breaks down what would have been larger freight loads, he added.
The group's Domestic Air Cargo Trends is available by phone (678) 385-2500 or on the Web, http://www.colography.com .