The integrating world economy requires supporting infrastructure. Advances in telecommunications and transportation technology have contributed to the spatial reorganization of the economic system. However, scholars have given little attention to the role of air transportation in general and air cargo service in particular in facilitating these processes. My research will analyze how the organization and operation of the international air cargo industry relates to the economic vitality of US metropolitan areas. Information from cargo forwarders, carriers, and shippers, quantitative analysis of network structure changes, and examination of Minneapolis-St. Paul and other selected metropolitan area cases will provide the basis of this investigation. I expect this research to reveal (1) expansion in the overall international air cargo industry, with consolidation and specialization among air carriers and the services they provide; (2) concentration of the largest carrier service networks into hub and spoke systems similar to but often geographically inconsistent with the passenger service networks; and (3) patterns of certain metropolitan area economic vitality indicators over the past fifteen years similar to overseas service trends.