Air Cargo Data

FreightWaves SONAR Drewry Air Freight Rates Data

SONAR’s groundbreaking air cargo data gives you the strategic advantage you’ve been searching for. Which airports have the longest wait times? What are the latest volume trends that can help me plan ahead at various airports? Often a leading indicator for the rest of the economy, air cargo data can help you plan for the medium- to long-term with comfort and confidence.


SONAR includes air cargo volumes and rates. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 290 of the world’s airlines, airlines transport over 52 million metric tons of goods a year, representing more than 35% of global trade by value, but less than 1% of trade by volume. Air transport is certainly a premium service, and as such can be a leading indicator or proxy for certain goods or economic activity.

In partnership with Airlines for America (A4A), volume in revenue ton miles is also available in addition to the rates indices. Volumes are offered by all the major U.S. airlines (10) except for Delta and by four destination regions – domestic (USA), Latin America (LATAM), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA).

In order to see air cargo volume by revenue ton miles in SONAR, the user types AIRRTM and then the airline symbol. For example, to see the air cargo volume for Southwest Airlines the user types AIRRTM.LUV.


Drewry is an established industry name for major market ocean and air rate index information. SONAR offers 65 city-pairs with air freight rate trends in global markets from Drewry’s Air Freight rate data (DAIR). The rate index is based on 1 metric ton (1,000 kg) general cargo contract rates and is updated monthly. This will allow subscribers to monitor air cargo pricing movements in key markets against other SONAR indices and market trends.

The SONAR ticker name is DAIR, and city-pair granularities are available using the airport codes for origin and destination.  Examples:

DAIR.ORGDST — ORG = origin airport city code;  DST = destination airport city code

DAIR.JFKFRA – New York JFK to Frankfurt

DAIR.LAXSIN – Los Angeles to Singapore

Drewry Air Freight Rates (ORD Chicago to SIN Singapore )
Source: SONAR Surf
Air Cargo Reported Quarterly Revenue (Atlast Air Inc.)

Regional breakdowns for each ticker above may be obtained by appending a “D” for U.S. domestic onto the ticker names above (i.e. AIRMAILD), “A” for Atlantic (AIRMAILA), “P” for Pacific (AIRMAILP) and “L” for Latin (AIRMAILL). Some airlines with smaller networks may use an “I” to designate the International region (AIRMAILI) instead of providing more detailed breakdowns.

Air Cargo Reported Quarterly Revenue (American Airlines Inc)

The granularities available include the following:

  • Individual U.S. airlines by name with $100 million revenue annually and above.
  • Grouping of airlines, with revenues combined:
    • GRP3 – Large passenger and freighter airlines exceeding $1 billion in annual revenue
    • GRP2 – Medium passenger and freighter airlines between $100 million to $1 billion in annual revenue
    • G3Pass – Group 3 passenger airlines only
    • G3Frt – Group 3 freighter airlines only
    • G2Pass – Group 2 passenger airlines only
    • G2Frt – Group 2 freighter airlines only
Scheduled Air Cargo Revenue (Delta Air Lines)

The data goes back 20 years and allows users to compare revenue performance over time of individual air carriers, carriers groupings, geographic regions and cargo products. The data is reported in U.S. dollars (in 000s).


Air cargo represents a small portion of overall freight volume, but a large amount of freight value. It is forecast to increase in size by about 4.3% per year with increasing demand due to the explosion of e-commerce. SONAR users will now have access to historical and future (up to three months) capacity on passenger and freighter flights by market in ton-kilometers.

Outbound Air Cargo Tons (JFK John F Kennedy International Airport)
Outbound air cargo available capacity in metrics for the New York JFK International Airport. (SONAR: OACT.JFK)

The Air Cargo Indices are a measure of the scheduled airline available tonnage capacity for passenger wide-body and freighter aircraft serving a market or an airport on an outbound (OACT) and inbound (IACT) basis. It is expressed in metric tons and is calculated for each week forward going out 12 weeks, as well as weekly going back a minimum of one year.


SONAR offers scheduled cargo capacity information for passenger wide-body and freighter flights. This allows subscribers to gain greater insights into airport volume potential, with weekly tonnage and ton-kilometer capacity trends in and out of U.S. airports. This includes the ability to look specifically at freighter capacity versus passenger wide-body capacity. 

The data has been enhanced with airport-to-airport lane level detail. Subscribers are able to look at the overall airport and the individual route capacity trends in and out of that airport and compare that with others.


OACT.orgdst, org=airport origin, dst=airport destination

OACT.JFKFRA (outbound air cargo tons for New York JFK to Frankfurt)

OACTF.ATLAMS (outbound air cargo tons by freighter for Atlanta to Amsterdam)

  • OACT – Outbound Air Cargo Tons
  • IACT – Inbound Air Cargo Tons
  • OACTK – Outbound Air Cargo Ton-Kilometers
  • IACTK – Inbound Air Cargo Ton-Kilometers
  • OACTP – Outbound Air Cargo Tonnage – By Passenger Wide-Body Flight
  • IACTP – Inbound Air Cargo Tonnage – By Passenger Wide-Body Flight
  • OACTF – Outbound Air Cargo Tonnage – By Freighter Flight
  • IACTF – Inbound Air Cargo Tonnage – By Freighter Flight
  • OACTKP – Outbound Air Cargo Ton-Kilometers by Passenger Wide-Body Flight
  • IACTKP – Inbound Air Cargo Ton-Kilometers by Passenger Wide-Body Flight
  • OACTKF – Outbound Air Cargo Ton-Kilometers by Freighter Flight
  • IACTKF – Inbound Air Cargo Ton-Kilometers by Freighter Flight

View other SONAR Freight Data

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