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November 2014 North American Freight Numbers

Press Release Number: 
BTS 05-15
Date: 
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: 
November 2013 - November 2014

Table Version | Excel

Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode:  November 2013 - November 2014

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $96.3 billion in November 2014 as two transportation modes – truck and pipeline – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in November 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by theU.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1, Table 1). Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by all modes increased by 0.1 percent.  The annual growth in the value of NAFTA trade slowed in November due in part to the reduced value of shipments of mineral fuels and of imported vehicles, parts, and electrical machinery.

Freight by Mode

In November 2014 compared to November 2013, the value of commodities moving by truck grew by the largest percentage of any mode, 1.4 percent, followed by pipeline freight which increased by 1.1 percent (Figure 1, Table 2). Rail freight decreased by 3.0 percent mainly due to reduced value of trade in vehicles and parts, vessel freight decreased by 3.3 percent mainly due to lower mineral fuel prices, and air freight decreased by 7.1 percent due to a decline in trade of precious stones, aircraft parts, and electrical machinery.

Of the $115 million increase in the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight from November 2013, a $787 million increase by truck and a $74 million increase by pipeline offset decreases by the other modes, air, vessel and rail.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $29.9 billion of exports and $28.7 billion of imports.  

Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 15.3 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 8.7 percent; pipeline, 6.8 percent; and air, 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.0 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

U.S.-Canada Freight

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode:
November 2013 - November 2014

Table Version | Excel

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode: November 2013 - November 2014

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data


Year-over-year, U.S.-Canada freight moved by vessel was the only mode to show an increase, growing 0.2 percent (Figure 2). Freight moved by pipeline decreased 0.3 percent, and truck 1.5 percent. Rail freight decreased 5.2 percent due to a decline in trade of vehicles and auto parts, electrical machinery, and vegetable oils. Air freight decreased 5.6 percent due to a decline in trade of precious stones, aircraft parts, and electrical machinery.

 

Trucks carried 55.2 percent of the $52.4 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail, 16.3 percent; pipeline, 11.8 percent; vessel, 5.7 percent and air, 4.5 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.3 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 3).

U.S.-Mexico Freight

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode:
November 2013 - November 2014

Table Version | Excel

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode: November 2013 - November 2014

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-Mexico pipeline freight rose 30.4 percent, the largest percentage increase of any mode, due to an increase in the volume of U.S. exports of mineral fuels. Pipeline freight remained 0.9 percent of total U.S.-Mexico freight value (Figure 3). Freight moved by truck increased 4.3 percent while rail rose 0.3 percent. Freight carried by vessel decreased 5.2 percent mainly due to lower mineral fuel prices and air declined 9.9 percent due to a decline in trade of electrical machinery and precious stones.

Trucks carried 67.6 percent of the $43.9 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail, 14.2 percent; vessel, 12.2 percent; air, 2.8 percent; and pipeline, 0.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.6 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 5).

Commodities
In November 2014, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $6.1 billion, or 57.7 percent, moved by pipeline (Table 4). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in November 2014 was electrical machinery, of which $7.5 billion, or 92.7 percent, moved by trucks (Table 6).

Reporting Notes
Press releases and the BTS website define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline. See North American TransBorder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004. The category of all modes of transportation cited in the following tables includes freight movements by truck, rail, vessel, pipeline, air, other and unknown modes of transport.     

Data in this press release are not adjusted for inflation. Additional summary data adjusted for inflation and exchange rates can be found on the BTS website under TransBorder Indexed Freight Flow Data. The BLS indexes used in the adjustments for inflation and exchange rates may be revised in each of the three months after original publication. For more information, see TransBorder Press Releases  for previous press releases and summary tables. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and more state, port, or commodity data.  BTS has scheduled the release of December TransBorder numbers for Feb.26.

 

Table 1. Value of Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows

(millions of current dollars)

Month 2012 2013 2014 Percent Change 2012-2013 Percent Change 2013-2014
January 87,383 90,766 90,326 3.9 -0.5
February 89,294 88,894 89,557 -0.4 0.7
March 99,726 95,757 101,478 -4.0 6.0
April 92,278 98,956 100,141 7.2 1.2
May 96,778 98,742 103,942 2.0 5.3
June 94,178 93,502 102,978 -0.7 10.1
July 87,815 93,080 101,075 6.0 8.6
August 94,847 96,426 100,624 1.7 4.4
September 89,809 94,465 102,245 5.2 8.2
October 98,612 103,140 108,243 4.6 4.9
November 94,927 96,136 96,252 1.3 0.1
December 84,766 90,906   7.2  
Year-to-date 1,025,647 1,049,864 1,096,861 2.4 4.5
Annual 1,110,413 1,140,770   2.7  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent change based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 2. Value of Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   November 2013 November 2014 Percent Change November 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 51,109 50,949 -0.3
Exports 45,027 45,303 0.6
Total 96,136 96,252 0.1
All Surface Modes Imports 43,255 43,529 0.6
Exports 36,195 36,332 0.4
Total 79,450 79,861 0.5
Truck Imports 27,519 28,680 4.2
Exports 30,260 29,887 -1.2
Total 57,779 58,567 1.4
Rail Imports 9,916 9,483 -4.4
Exports 5,268 5,251 -0.3
Total 15,184 14,734 -3.0
Pipeline Imports 5,820 5,366 -7.8
Exports 667 1,194 79.2
Total 6,487 6,560 1.1
Vessel Imports 4,721 4,547 -3.7
Exports 3,921 3,807 -2.9
Total 8,642 8,354 -3.3
Air Imports 1,603 1,438 -10.3
Exports 2,245 2,137 -4.8
Total 3,848 3,575 -7.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation. For additional detail, please refer to the "Data Fields" section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataF....

 

Table 3. Value of Monthly U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   November 2013 November 2014 Percent Change November 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 27,387 26,778 -2.2
Exports 25,724 25,580 -0.6
Total 53,111 52,358 -1.4
All Surface Modes Imports 23,768 23,229 -2.3
Exports 20,737 20,365 -1.8
Total 44,506 43,594 -2.0
Truck Imports 11,786 12,024 2.0
Exports 17,543 16,878 -3.8
Total 29,329 28,902 -1.5
Rail Imports 6,182 5,854 -5.3
Exports 2,804 2,665 -5.0
Total 8,987 8,519 -5.2
Pipeline Imports 5,799 5,351 -7.7
Exports 391 822 110.5
Total 6,190 6,174 -0.3
Vessel Imports 1,497 1,565 4.6
Exports 1,509 1,445 -4.2
Total 3,005 3,010 0.2
Air Imports 993 941 -5.2
Exports 1,502 1,415 -5.8
Total 2,495 2,356 -5.6

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: : Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation. For additional detail, please refer to the "Data Fields" section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataF....

 

Table 4. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Canada for Each Mode of Transportation, November 2014

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 2,597 8,043 10,639
Truck Vehicles Other than Railway 3,103 2,455 5,559
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 852 2,520 3,371
Pipepline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 805 5,335 6,139
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,198 1,304 2,502
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 317 143 460

Source: Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

 

Table 5. Value of Monthly U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   November 2013 November 2014 Percent Change November 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 23,722 24,171 1.9
Exports 19,303 19,722 2.2
Total 43,025 43,893 2.0
All Surface Modes Imports 19,487 20,300 4.2
Exports 15,457 15,966 3.3
Total 34,944 36,267 3.8
Truck Imports 15,733 16,656 5.9
Exports 12,717 13,009 2.3
Total 28,450 29,665 4.3
Rail Imports 3,733 3,629 -2.8
Exports 2,464 2,585 4.9
Total 6,197 6,215 0.3
Pipeline Imports 21 15 -28.7
Exports 276 372 34.8
Total 297 387 30.4
Vessel Imports 3,224 2,981 -7.5
Exports 2,413 2,362 -2.1
Total 5,637 5,343 -5.2
Air Imports 610 497 -18.6
Exports 743 722 -2.8
Total 1,353 1,219 -9.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: : Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation. For additional detail, please refer to the "Data Fields" section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataF....

 

Table 6. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Mexico for Each Mode of Transportation, November 2014

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 3,017 5,059 8,076
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,699 4,789 7,488
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 628 2,689 3,317
Pipepline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 372 15 387
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,499 2,160 3,660
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 215 139 353

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.