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November 2012 U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico Totaled $81.5 Billion

Press Release Number: 
BTS 06-13
Date: 
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen - 202-366-5568

PDF: bts006-13.pdf | Excel: bts06-13.xls

Figure 1: North American Surface Transportation Trade: January 2004 - November 2012

Unadjusted and Adjusted for Inflation and Exchange Rate Flucations

Figure 1

 

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

Note: U.S. export data adjusted based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Exports by End Use Category for All Commodities. U.S. imports adjusted based on BLS U.S. Import Price Indexes for Canada and Mexico (January 2004 = 100).  The BLS indexes may be revised in each of the three months after original publication.  For example, index values released in January 2012 will be subject to revision in February, March and April of that year.

 

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, rose 6.2 percent in November 2012 compared to November 2011, totaling $81.5 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Figure 1 and Table 1a).  Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates and presented in January 2004 dollars, the November 2012 total was $59.5 billion, up 7.6 percent from November 2011 (Figure 1 and Table 1b).

BTS, a part of the Department's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that in November 2012, $56.2 billion of U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico moved by truck, $14.9 billion moved by rail, and $5.9 billion moved by pipeline (Figure 2).   Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, other modes of transport, and goods moving into Foreign Trade Zones. Surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico accounted for 21 percent of total U.S. foreign trade in November 2012.

 

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, November 2012 (current dollars)

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, November 2012 (current dollars)

 

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data. http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes are based on actual numbers prior to rounding (if applicable).

 

U.S.-Canada surface trade was $46.7 billion in current dollars in November 2012, while U.S.-Mexico surface trade was $34.8 billion.  For trade statistics by mode, see Table 3 for Canada and Table 5 for Mexico. 

In November, Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.6 billion in current dollars (Table 4).  The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in November was vehicles and parts, valued at $9.6 billion in current dollars (Table 7). 

Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $12.4 billion in current dollars (Table 6).  The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by surface modes of transportation in November was electrical machinery with $7.9 billion in trade in current dollars (Table 8).

For more information, see Transborder Press Releases for previous press releases and summary tables. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and individual state data.  BTS has scheduled the release of December 2012 TransBorder numbers for Feb 28.

Technical Note: 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 example, index values released in January 2012 were subject to revision in February, March and April of that year.

 

Table 1a. Unadjusted Value of Monthly U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico

(millions of current dollars)

Month 2010 2011 2012 Percent Change 2010-2011 Percent Change 2011-2012
January 56,697 67,734 75,534 19.5 11.5
February 59,492 66,534 78,135 11.8 17.4
March 69,943 80,822 85,827 15.6 6.2
April 65,831 73,767 79,784 12.1 8.2
May 66,805 77,318 83,770 15.7 8.3
June 69,859 77,521 82,601 11.0 6.6
July 61,260 72,363 75,694 18.1 4.6
August 67,964 80,406 82,480 18.3 2.6
September 68,324 77,725 77,680 13.8 -0.1
October 70,565 79,040 85,290 12.0 7.9
November 68,060 76,672 81,453 12.7 6.2
December 66,530 74,230   11.6  
Year-to-date 724,800 829,902 888,249 14.5 7.0
Annual 791,329 904,133   14.3  

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 1b. Adjusted Value of Monthly U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico

(millions of January 2004 dollars adjusted for inflation and exchange rates)

Month 2010 2011 2012 Percent Change 2010-2011 Percent Change 2011-2012
January 44,505 50,454 54,454 13.4 7.9
February 46,812 48,897 56,321 4.5 15.2
March 54,714 58,088 61,613 6.2 6.1
April 51,028 51,912 57,349 1.7 10.5
May 52,061 54,296 60,657 4.3 11.7
June 55,063 54,980 60,991 -0.2 10.9
July 48,406 51,494 56,046 6.4 8.8
August 53,391 57,496 60,499 7.7 5.2
September 53,548 55,555 56,310 3.7 1.4
October 54,856 57,344 61,714 4.5 7.6
November 52,020 55,302 59,478 6.3 7.6
December 50,154 53,593   6.9  
Year-to-date 566,404 595,816 645,431 5.2 8.3
Annual 616,558 649,410   5.3  

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

U.S. export data adjusted based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Exports by End Use Category for All Commodities. U.S. imports adjusted based on BLS U.S. Import Price Indexes for Canada and Mexico (January 2004 = 100).  The BLS indexes may be revised in each of the three months after original publication.  For example, index values released in January 2012 will be subject to revision in February, March and April of that year.

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

 

Table 2. U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico by Mode

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Imports Exports Total
All Surface Modes 43,616 37,837 81,453
Truck 27,235 28,945 56,180
Rail 9,621 5,236 14,858
Pipeline 5,160 772 5,933

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 3. U.S. Surface Trade with Canada by Mode

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Imports Exports Total
All Surface Modes 24,364 22,306 46,670
Truck 11,738 17,063 28,801
Rail 6,242 2,569 8,812
Pipeline 5,141 552 5,693

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 4. Top 10 States Trading with Canada by All Surface Modes of Transportation
Ranked by November 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of current dollars)

State November 2012
Value Rank
Michigan 6,637 1
Illinois 4,215 2
California 3,394 3
Ohio 2,918 4
Texas 2,598 5
New York 2,428 6
Pennsylvania 1,666 7
Indiana 1,612 8
Washington 1,580 9
Minnesota 1,489 10

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 5. U.S. Surface Trade with Mexico by Mode

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Imports Exports Total
All Surface Modes 19,252 15,531 34,783
Truck 15,496 11,882 27,379
Rail 3,379 2,667 6,046
Pipeline 19 220 240

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 6. Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by All Surface Modes of Transportation
Ranked by November 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of current dollars)

State November 2012
Value Rank
Texas 12,412 1
California 5,095 2
Michigan 4,455 3
Illinois 1,101 4
Arizona 1,015 5
Ohio 930 6
Tennessee 742 7
Indiana 584 8
North Carolina 548 9
Georgia 485 10

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 7. Top Five Commodities Transported between the U.S. and Canada by All Surface Modes of Transportation, November 2012

(millions of current dollars)

Commodities Exports Imports Total
Vehicles Other than Railway 4,121 5,501 9,623
Oil and Gas 1,030 6,452 7,482
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 3,570 1,516 5,086
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,089 490 2,579
Plastics 1,023 795 1,818

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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

 

Table 8. Top Five Commodities Transported between the U.S. and Mexico by All Surface Modes of Transportation, November 2012

(millions of current dollars)

Commodities Exports Imports Total
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,749 5,168 7,917
Vehicles Other than Railway 1,965 4,589 6,554
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 2,881 3,149 6,030
Plastics 1,161 291 1,452
Measuring and Testing Instruments 454 842 1,296

Source: BTS TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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