The Freight 50: Breakdown of carriers within groups

No such thing as perfection

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 a perfect list is nearly impossible to compile in this maddeningly complex industry. We use multiple sources, including IATA, U.S. DOT and the self-reporting from individual carriers. However, many others, such as ASL Group, Yangtze River Express, MNG Airlines, myCargo Airlines, SF Express and West Atlantic, never report their tonnages to IATA.

DHL Express is a case unto itself. The German integrator carries freight in almost every imaginable way – on owned-and-operated planes, on aircraft operated by joint-venture partners, and in purchased or leased space on non-affiliated carriers. For this year’s Freight 50 listing, we included freight carried by DHL Air, EAT Leipzig, DHL International, ABX Air, AeroLogic, Air Hong Kong, Polar Air Cargo and Southern Air, and provide the final FTK sum under the catch-all “DHL Express Group” name (see charts, below).

However, it is worth noting that our DHL Express Group compromise described above is still not a perfect solution because it under-represents FTKs for companies like Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) and Air Transport Services Group (ATSG). For instance, we could have arguably included FTKs from Polar Air and Southern under an AAWW Group category. If that were the case, then AAWW’s total FTKs would be around 11.6 billion, making AAWW the world’s third-biggest cargo carrier group on our Freight 50 chart, and would have under-reported DHL to an even greater degree. There is simply no easy answer.


Sources: IATA, U.S. Department of Transportation, Cargo Facts database, 2017
Figures include both freight and mail.

(See next page for more Carrier Groups)

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