We at Air Cargo World and Cargo Facts are proud of the nearly comprehensive portrait that this Freight 50 listing paints for the air cargo carrier business. But we also know enough to realize that a perfect list is nearly impossible to compile. While it’s a trustworthy estimate, it’s still just an educated guess. We use multiple sources, including IATA, U.S. Department of Transportation and the self-reporting from individual carriers, but there is still no single database that is 100 percent accurate, because so many carriers have different ways of reporting their cargo figures. IATA gathers a vast amount of data, but many carriers never report their tonnages to IATA. DHL Express is a case unto itself every year. The German integrator carries freight on owned-and-operated planes, on aircraft operated by joint-venture partner carriers and in purchased or leased space on non-affiliated carriers. For this year’s Freight 50, we have included freight carried by DHL Air, DHL International, ABX Air, AeroLogic, Air Hong Kong, Polar Air Cargo, Southern Air and EAT Leipzig, and provided the final FTK sum under the catch-all “DHL Express” name (see charts, below). Even with these methods, we assume total FTKs carried by DHL are significantly under-reported.
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