Air-Cargo Volume Falls Again

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Air-cargo volume fell 14.4 percent in November, according to a report last month by the Air Transport Association, Washington, the main trade group for U.S. carriers.


The ATA said scheduled airfreight traffic declined from 2.12 billion revenue ton miles in November 2000 to 1.82 billion revenue ton miles last November. A revenue ton mile is one ton of revenue-generating freight moved one mile. The results reflect worldwide volume at 17 carriers, including FedEx Corp., Memphis, TN, and the United Parcel Service Inc., Atlanta.


November's results were the 10th consecutive monthly decline in airfreight traffic, the ATA said, though the decline was not as steep as the 23 percent plunge in air-cargo volume in October. Most airlines have cut flights from their schedules because of weak demand, and additional security measures taken since Sept. 11 have prompted some shipping customers to steer more of their cargo onto lower-priced trucks.


The U.S. Postal Service, for example, facing tough new restrictions on parcels and mail shipped by airplanes, has shifted a large portion of those items to trucking companies and all-cargo commercial airlines. As a result, mail-cargo volume in November plunged 53 percent to 108.9 million revenue ton miles from 230.8 million a year earlier, the ATA said.


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