Return of Roaring ’20s? Dip in retail sales could set up big spring

February saw a decline from January in overall retail sales, but non-store retail, which includes e-commerce, continues to outpace overall sales, rising 25.9% from February 2020 and 1.8% from January, according to monthly data released Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, some experts are predicting boom times ahead.

Retail and food service sales dropped 3% in February from January in the final report before the latest round of stimulus payments hit consumers’ bank accounts. February’s...

Airlines reinstate collection of federal excise tax for air cargo

A large white jet getting loaded with cargo through side door. Airport worker with orange vest in foreground.

Airlines operating in the U.S. are once again collecting the federal excise tax on freight shipments that were suspended for most of last year to help the industry survive the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package known as the CARES Act provided an aviation tax holiday from March 28 through the end of 2020. Airlines were not required to charge the 6.25% tax on goods shipped by air or the 7.25% tax on passenger tickets, as well as other...

The American Shipper Top 10: Containers overboard, stock selloffs, and an air rebound

Shippers faced many challenges in 2020, and COVID-19 was just one. One ship lost thousands of containers, investors fled shipping stocks early in the year, and airlines faced uncertainty with different strategies.

The American Shipper Top 10 stories of the year are chosen by you, the reader, throughout the year by simply choosing to read our stories. These are the Top 10 stories on based on page views, from No. 10 to No. 1.

(Photo: Atlas Air)
10. Yeah, no thanks

Atlas Air...

U.S. airlines drop 36,700 jobs after CARES Act ends

Two small regional jets taxi on airport roadway.

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 9.1 percent fewer full-time equivalents  in mid-October 2020 than a month earlier, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Mid-October’s total number of FTEs (368,162) was down 36,707 from mid-September 2020 (404,869 FTEs) and 91,871 from mid-March 2020. October was the lowest FTE total for any month dating from January 1990. The previous low was April 2010 (376,663 FTEs).

Mid-October’s FTEs declined nearly 86,000, an 18.9 percent drop from...

Atlas Air refuses to repay US bailout funds

A white jumbo jet with Atlas Air name and blue tail painted on it. on sunny day rolls down airport roadway.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (NASDQ: AAWW) last week reported an eightfold increase in adjusted net income and 25% more revenue in the third quarter compared to last year, but will not return $406 million in emergency coronavirus aid the U.S. government intended for financially battered airlines to retain workers.

The all-cargo carrier and aircraft lessor fully qualified for the federal funds because there was no guarantee the airfreight market would flourish at the time, the program wasn’t...

House committee slams airline contractors for layoffs after COVID aid

A ramp workers guides equipment preparing a plane for its next flight on a bright sunny day.

Four aviation services companies that took $595 million in federal wage offsets as part of an emergency coronavirus stimulus package last spring have committed to retain all current employees after several were reprimanded by a House investigative committee for violating terms of the aid.

The four ground handling agents — Menzies Aviation, DAL Global Services, Sky Chefs and Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) — employ more than 30,000 people in the U.S. Three other airport service providers —...

House Democrats try to claw back COVID aid from cargo airlines

White jets with blue tails, parked at airport, with stormy skies looming.

The third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives is asking four cargo airlines to return more than $630 million they received in emergency funding to keep workers from losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, saying they aren’t entitled to the money because cargo business is roaring.

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the majority whip and chairman of the Oversight and Reform select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, on Monday wrote Amerijet International, Atlas Air...

American Airlines to chop 19,000 jobs amid travel slump

A silver American Airlines plane with red, white and blue striped tail rolls down taxiway. American plans to cut 19,000 jobs.

American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) notified employees in a memo Tuesday that it plans to eliminate 19,000 jobs on Oct. 1, unless Congress renews the emergency coronavirus assistance that helped airlines retain staff for the past six months.

The news comes a day after Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) indicated involuntary separations are coming for 1,941 pilots, according to Reuters.

Airlines, struggling to survive, are transforming into much smaller organizations with passenger travel not expected to...

Commentary: With PPP loans ended, what comes next?

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.       

Motor carriers form the most competitive mode of transportation. 

This is because there are so many independent players, and the mode is relatively easy to enter and exit. A tractor and a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are enough to make someone an owner-operator. 

In this way the owner-operator is a sole proprietor of a small business, either working...

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