When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, countries struggled to stop its spread: sports teams canceled entire seasons, schools closed, workers began working from home and countries sealed their borders.
In contrast to the performance of many industries catering to passenger transportation, Scheduled Freight Air Transportation and Freight Transportation Arrangement, saw revenues increase from 2019 to 2020.
Lockdowns and travel restrictions had a significant impact on the transportation industries but not all segments. Unlike freight transportation industries, estimated revenues for industries supporting passenger transportation saw no increases from 2019 to 2020, according to the 2021 Service Annual Survey (SAS).
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation estimated revenue for employer firms declined 60.0% from $206.8 billion in 2019 to $82.8 billion in 2020.
As COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out in early 2021 and some travel restrictions were lifted, the industry began to see a resurgence: revenues increased 60.1% to $132.5 billion.
From 2019 to 2020, revenues for the Nonscheduled Chartered Passenger Air Transportation industry dropped about 8.3% for employer firms.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted the activity of cruise companies. This is evidenced by the 64.2% decrease in revenues for the Deep Sea Passenger Transportation industry from 2019 to 2020.
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services is another industry primarily serving modes of passenger transportation. Revenues of employer firms dropped 47.9% to $34.2 billion in 2020 from $65.8 billion in 2019.
As with passenger air transportation, this industry’s revenues began to recover in 2021, increasing 35.6% to $46.4 billion for employer firms.
In contrast to the performance of many industries catering to passenger transportation, Scheduled Freight Air Transportation and Freight Transportation Arrangement saw revenues increase from 2019 to 2020.
Despite obstacles like labor shortages, disruptions in port operations, and changes to working conditions among others, some freight transportation industries thrived with the help of increased demand and higher prices.
Revenues of employer firms in the Scheduled Freight Air Transportation industry were $7.6 billion in 2021, up 14.9% from 2020 and 17.2% from 2019. Deep Sea Freight Transportation revenues were $6.9 billion for employer firms in 2021, an 8.8% increase from 2020 and a 9.3% increase from 2019 estimate.
The latest 2021 SAS includes estimates and accompanying measures of sampling variability and sheds some light on additional industries like those outlined in this article.
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