Business & Finance: Wings for Imports

Old-line ship operators blinked, reread the report, blinked again: 6% of the dollar volume of U.S. imports last year arrived by air. Another eye opener: during the dreary months when submarines were sinking Allied ships faster than Henry Kaiser and others could build them, shipments in big-bellied Army & Navy air transports were 20 times safer than those on the seas.

The volume was actually less than 21,000 tons by air, and less than 1% of the total imports—25 million tons—by sea. All the air imports could easily have been stowed into two Liberty...

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