Surging volumes at United Cargo pushed cargo revenues up 22.1 percent, year-over-year, to US$254 million in the second quarter of 2017, pushing the year-to-date growth rate and revenue numbers up to 17.9 percent, y-o-y, and $474 million, respectively.
Comprising of less than 3 percent of United’s total half-year revenues, cargo remains a small percentage of the carrier’s total operations, but the growth speaks to an overall trend in North American cargo. Delta Cargo’s second quarter revenue, for instance, was up 10.9 percent, y-o-y, to $183 million.
United’s revenues per cargo ton mile also moved up slightly, rising 0.2 percent to 30.68 cents, reflecting improvements in airfreight rates in the broader market.
The latest results confirm that United is riding a turnaround that got underway sometime in 2014, following years of lackluster results. In addition to rising demand, United has taken steps to boost sales, such as a joint venture that it launched with Lufthansa Cargo in April, covering a wide-range of cargo cooperation on routes between the United States and Europe. The trans-Atlantic deal, first proposed in 2015, covers cooperation on available capacity and alignment of booking and handling processes.
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