Air Cargo 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 you 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.

FreightWaves SONAR Drewry Air Freight Rates Data

Airfreight Volumes

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, within the platform type AIRRTM and then the airline symbol. For example, to see the air cargo volume for Southwest Airlines the user types AIRRTM.LUV.

SONAR Air Cargo Volume Dashboard

Drewry Air Freight Rates

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

Adding Drewry data significantly enhances FreightWaves’ air cargo rate coverage, as FreightWaves will continue to maintain its TAC data for air cargo that cover seven major air shipping markets (SONAR Tickers: AIRUSD, AIREUR, AIRLOC).

In addition to lane specific data, SONAR also offers aircargo rate data from major global aircargo cities to regions of the world. Rate indices are available in the following lanes and ticker symbols:

  • Frankfurt Airport to North America – FRANOA
  • Frankfurt Airport to Southeast Asia – FRASEA
  • Hong Kong Airport to Europe – HKGEUR
  • Hong Kong Airport to North America – HKGNOA
  • Shanghai Airport to Europe – PVGEUR
  • Shanghai Airport to North America – PVGNOA

Each lane’s rates are available in three currencies – Euros (AIREUR), U.S. Dollars (AIRUSD), and origin country currency (AIRLOC). To get a rate, you type the index symbol with the appropriate currency and the lane. For example, if a user wants to look up the average rate for the Frankfurt Airport to North America in Euros, they would type AIREUR.FRANOA.

JFK SONAR Dashboard

Air Cargo Capacity Index

Monitor elements that impact the freight market - trucking spot and contract rates, risk-management, equipment values and the global freight marketplace. Make better pricing decisions based on past data, current trends and future forecasts, ultimately strengthening your bottom line. SONAR paints over 150,000 freight indices per day.

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.

Air Cargo Granularities

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

Ready to become a freight forecaster?

Get access to the leading freight forecasting platform – fast.

Request A Demo