Cargo Is King: Boeing Clocks Order For 767 Freighters From UPS

Boeing and UPS announced an agreement today for 19 767 freighter aircraft. The early Christmas present for Boeing comes as UPS sees strong and growing cargo demand and wants a versatile aircraft to ferry packages and other cargo around the world. Deliveries will start in 2023.

UPS has received an order for 19 additional Boeing 767F aircraft from UPS. Photo: Boeing

UPS takes on 19 more Boeing 767s

On Tuesday, Boeing announced an order for 19 767 freighters to support the growing demand for cargo operations. Deliveries will commence in 2023 and conclude in 2025, representing more long-term confidence in the cargo sector.

The Boeing 767 Freighter is based on the passenger 767-300ER aircraft. The freighter variant carries up to 52.4 tons of revenue cargo, according to Boeing, and has a significant range. This makes it an attractive plane for UPS. Nando Cesarone, UPS US Operations President, stated alongside the order that the “Boeing 767 is the most versatile aircraft we operate.”

Cargo Is King: Boeing Clocks Order For 767 Freighters From UPS
The 19 B767F aircraft will arrive between 2023 and 2025. Photo: Boeing

Strong demand for cargo

The crisis has shown just how vital air cargo links are. When passenger traffic shut down, major airlines started turning to all-cargo operations using passenger jets, and cargo carriers like UPS soon saw more demand than they had aircraft to serve. This was especially crucial among healthcare supplies.

As the crisis has unfolded and the world has started to rebound, cargo has remained one of the strongest parts of air traffic revenue. With reduced shipping capacity, air cargo demand continued to grow, and airlines worked to capture as much of that demand as possible. Now, air cargo links are proving to be essential to keep shelves stocked.

However, the outlook for cargo is still upbeat. With ongoing issues pushing demand for air cargo up, those will subside and start to normalize. Long-term, replacing that will be the continuous growth in e-commerce demand. This is a trend in the air cargo industry that appeared well before the crisis hit but has a lot of room to grow.

Cargo Is King: Boeing Clocks Order For 767 Freighters From UPS
UPS views the Boeing 767 as one of its most versatile aircraft, allowing it to respond to the market and add capacity where warranted. Photo: Getty Images

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A strong cargo year

For Boeing, while there were highlights in the commercial side from a sales point of view, cargo was big in 2021. Boeing states that 2021 was a record-breaking year for the manufacturer’s cargo lines. This year, Boeing clocked 80 firm orders for new widebody freighters and more than 80 orders for Boeing Converted Freighters.

Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing, stated the following:

“This latest order for 19 jets bookends an incredible year for the Boeing Freighter family. Since the program was launched, UPS has recognized the value of the 767 Freighter and utilized the airplane’s outstanding cargo capabilities throughout its network. These new jets will enable UPS to meet expected near-term and long-term cargo demand with the proven economics, reliability and flexibility that are synonymous with the 767 Freighter.”

Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook forecasts an annual increase of 4% in air cargo demand over the next 20 years. It expects the global freighter fleet to grow by 70% by 2040.

Boeing is not the only manufacturer that has seen interest in its widebody cargo products. Across the pond, rival Airbus has seen a sizable response to its new A350F product, while Boeing weighs a cargo 777X offering.

The order from UPS today shows that the outlook for cargo is still bright and is expected to see organic, long-term growth. As Boeing moves forward, cargo will be an important part of its product lineup.