US domestic air cargo market remains stagnant, no growth since 1999

Industry consulting firm, Air Cargo Management Group's annual "US domestic air freight and express industry performance analysis" reports that US domestic airfreight and express revenue increased just 1% year-over-year in 2007 to $32.81 billion. The "slim" gain, moreover, is attributed to  fuel surcharges.

According to the report, traffic volume in the US air cargo market was 14.93 billion revenue ton miles (RTMs) in 2007, which was down 1.5% year-over-year. The number of shipments moving through the major express networks was 6.6 million per day, a 1.8% decline compared to 2006.

"The industry remains at or near 1999 levels based on both these performance metrics; in other words, this industry has gone through eight years with no net growth," ACMG project director Robert Dahl said. "Furthermore, part-year data for 2008 gives little hope of any major increase this year. In fact, there are numerous challenges facing the industry, including record-high fuel prices, a weak US economy and a perceived shift of air shipments to trucks, which could lead to further traffic declines in 2008 and 2009."