Air Cargo Management Group reports that the US domestic air freight and express industry continues to register gains in revenue, despite stagnant traffic. US domestic air freight and express industry revenues reached $32.49 billion in 2006, a 3.8% increase over 2005 and a new record for the industry, said Robert Dahl, ACMG Project Director.


    Gains in 2006, split about equally between the express and non-express segments of the industry, resulted from rate increases implemented by express carriers and from fuel surcharge impacts.  Traffic volume for the industry at 15.21 billion ton-miles, was up just 0.5% year-over-year, and the number of domestic shipments moving through the major express networks at 6.767 million per day was down 1.3% versus 2005. In fact, the industry remains 2-3% below the year-2000 levels based on both these performance metrics.


    ACMGs newly-released US Domestic Air Freight and Express Industry Performance Analysis 2007 provides a detailed assessment of the US air cargo/express industry and the companies that compete in this market. Published annually since 1994, this 170-page study provides the only comprehensive quantitative and qualitative independent analysis of the $32.5 billion U.S. domestic air cargo industry, including:


    • Trends in U.S. expedited cargo services
    • Statistical analysis of freight, mail, and express package traffic
    • Strategic reviews of the major express companies, all-cargo and combination passenger/cargo carriers
    • Analysis of freighter aircraft use, security, and rising fuel costs.

     Analysis 2007

    ACMGs report analyzes the major changes that have taken place in the domestic market, largely due to consolidation in the express area. Airborne Express was acquired by DHL in 2003, Menlo Worldwide Forwarding was acquired by UPS in 2004, and BAX Global was acquired by Deutsche Bahn/Schenker in 2005. No major developments of this type took place in 2006, Dahl noted, but in the first half of 2007 DHL announced it was buying a stake in ASTAR Air Cargo, and ASTAR is attempting to acquire ABX Air.


    It remains to be seen how these moves, if consummated, will impact the industry. In the express market FedEx remains the market leader with a 42.2% share of daily shipments, with UPS not far behind with a 37.5% share. DHL, which does not provide shipment count reports, is estimated to have a 16.3% share. DHLs performance in the US market is improving, although it has not increased its market share in the domestic express sector, and it is expected to record losses here until 2009.


    As shown in the accompanying table, the integrated express companies as a group generated $29.09 billion (89.5%) of the industrys total revenue in 2006. Domestic freight handled by combination carriers and freight forwarders amounted to a $3.00 billion business last year (9.2% of the total revenue amount), and domestic mail exclusive of the major USPS-FedEx contract represented $399 million (just 1.3% of the total).


    Partial-year results indicate that 2007 is following the same pattern as 2005 and 2006, with positive financial results despite flat traffic levels. High fuel prices, and the surcharges that result, continue to inhibit air cargo growth, and encourage shippers to look at less expensive transportation alternatives now available in the form of expedited trucking services, noted Dahl. However, the US market remains the largest single air freight/express market in the world, and ACMGs report is the best single source of data and commentary on this industry segment and the companies involved in it.


    Express FedEx (FY07 including USPS)               $ 13,770            42.4%

    UPS                                                                 $ 10,702            32.9%

    DHL                                                                  $ 2,950               9.1%

    USPS Express Mail                                           $ 918                  2.8%

    BAX Global                                                        $ 750                  2.3%


    Freight Combination Carrier Freight                      $ 1,248               3.8%

    All-Cargo Carrier Freight                                     $ 852                  2.6%

    Freight Forwarders                                             $ 900                  2.8%


    Mail Combination Carrier Mail                              $ 317                  1.0%

    All-Cargo Carrier Mail                                         $ 83                    0.3%



    To order, or to obtain more information, visit ACMGs website at, or call Robert Dahl at 1-206-587-6537. Founded in 1978, ACMG is a specialized aviation consulting firm, which focuses on freighter aircraft and all aspects of the worldwide air freight and express industry.