Is there one data source that can be used to conduct a comprehensive analysis of U.S. international trade and transportation?
No. Multiple data sources must be used to provide a comprehensive understanding of U.S. international trade and transportation and related issues. BTS uses data from multiple major sources: the Census Bureau's U.S. Merchandise Trade data; the Bureau of Economic Analysis' (BEA) balance of payments trade data and international transactions data; the Army Corps of Engineers' Foreign Waterborne Commerce data; the Journal of Commerce's Port Import/Export Reporting Service data for international maritime activity; the U.S. Customs Services' border-crossing data; and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' Transborder Surface Freight Data and Office of Airline Information air cargo data. These data provide different pieces that must be integrated together to better understand the totality of international freight movements.
What analytical role does BTS play in assessing U.S. international trade and transportation?
BTS plays a unique analytical role in the release and analysis of international trade and transportation data. BTS is the only agency to compare mulitmodal data and release reports and data that reflect international freight transportation as a whole, by all modes of transportation. For example, in March 2003, BTS released the report, U.S. International Trade and Freight Transportation Trends.