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Three of Five Modes Carried More U.S. NAFTA Trade in November 2013 than in November 2012

Press Release Number: 
BTS 06-14
Date: 
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

PDF | Excel

Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: 
November 2013 Compared to November 2012

Table Version | Excel

Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode:   November 2013 Compared to November 2012

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Three of the five transportation modes – truck, rail and pipeline - carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade in November 2013 than in November 2012 as the value of overall U.S. trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico rose 1.3 percent from year to year, according to the November NAFTA freight data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Table 1).

BTS reported that pipelines showed the most year-to-year growth at 7.4 percent.  The increase in the value of freight carried by pipelines reflects the rise in prices for oil and other petroleum products, the primary commodity transported by pipelines.

Trade by Mode
Truck, which carries three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade and is the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners, rose 2.5 percent in value year-to-year while rail rose 2.2 percent. Vessel declined 8.4 percent and air declined 4.0 percent (Figure 1).

Trucks carried 59.9 percent of the $96.1 billion of U.S.-NAFTA trade in November 2013 accounting for $30.2 billion of exports and $27.4 billion of imports (Table 2). Truck was followed by rail at 15.8 percent, vessels at 9.0 percent, pipeline at 6.6 percent and air at 4.0 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.3 percent of the total NAFTA freight flows.

Trade with Canada
U.S.-Canada trade by pipeline, consisting almost entirely of petroleum products of which 93.6 percent was imported, increased the most of any mode from November 2012 to November 2013, growing 6.6 percent. U.S.-Canada pipeline trade comprised 95.3 percent of total U.S.-NAFTA pipeline trade in November (Tables 2, 4). Despite the overall decline in vessel trade, vessel freight exports to Canada increased by 77.2 percent from November 2012, primarily due to an increase in exports of mineral fuels (Table 4).

For trade with Canada in November, trucks carried 54.9 percent of the $52.8 billion of freight, followed by rail at 17.0 percent, pipelines at 11.5 percent, vessel at 5.5 percent and air at 4.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.4 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 4).

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode:
November 2012-November 2013

Table Version | Excel

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode: November 2012-November 2013

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Trade with Mexico
The value of U.S.-Mexico trade by pipeline was the least of any mode but had the largest percentage increase from November 2012 to November 2013, growing 25.8 percent (Table 6). The increase in the value of freight carried by pipelines reflects the rise in prices for oil and other petroleum products, the primary commodity transported by pipelines.

Freight moved by vessel and air between the U.S. and Mexico decreased by 9.7 and 1.3 percent respectively (Figure 3).

For trade with Mexico in November, trucks carried 66.1 percent of the $43.3 billion of the freight, followed by rail at 14.3 percent, vessel at 13.3 percent, air at 3.1 percent and pipelines at 0.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 81.1 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 6).

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode:
November 2012-November 2013

Table Version | Excel

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode: November 2012-November 2013

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Commodities
In November 2013, the top commodity group transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, valued at $10.6 billion, of which $6.0 billion moved by pipeline (Table 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in November 2013 continues to be electrical machinery, of which $7.2 billion moved by truck (Table 7). Mineral fuels are the largest component in the year-over-year decline of vessel freight and cereal grains are the second largest component.

Reporting Notes
Beginning with January 2013, BTS monthly TransBorder press releases contain data for all modes of transportation. 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. 27.

 

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

(millions of current dollars)

Month 2011 2012 2013 Percent Change 2011-2012 Percent Change 2012-2013
January 79,608 87,490 90,512 9.9 3.5
February 77,015 89,385 88,449 16.1 -1.0
March 94,228 99,510 95,566 5.6 -4.0
April 87,097 92,199 98,984 5.9 7.4
May 91,126 96,840 98,577 6.3 1.8
June 90,663 94,200 93,483 3.9 -0.8
July 84,952 87,691 93,192 3.2 6.3
August 93,450 94,593 96,526 1.2 2.0
September 90,771 89,875 94,350 -1.0 5.0
October 91,837 98,632 103,089 7.4 4.5
November 90,401 94,877 96,120 5.0 1.3
December 86,775 84,695   -2.4  
Year-to-date 971,149 1,025,293 1,048,848 5.6 2.3
Annual 1,057,924 1,109,988   4.9  

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 2012 November 2013 Percent Change November 2012-2013
All Modes Imports 51,371 50,864 -1.0
Exports 43,506 45,257 4.0
Total 94,877 96,120 1.3
All Surface Modes Imports 42,017 42,990 2.3
Exports 34,954 36,145 3.4
Total 76,970 79,135 2.8
Truck Imports 27,235 27,382 0.5
Exports 28,945 30,205 4.4
Total 56,180 57,587 2.5
Rail Imports 9,621 9,910 3.0
Exports 5,236 5,269 0.6
Total 14,858 15,179 2.2
Pipeline Imports 5,160 5,698 10.4
Exports 772 671 -13.1
Total 5,933 6,369 7.4
Vessel Imports 5,992 4,723 -21.2
Exports 3,428 3,908 14.0
Total 9,421 8,631 -8.4
Air Imports 1,762 1,600 -9.2
Exports 2,241 2,242 0.1
Total 4,003 3,843 -4.0

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. Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode

November 2013 Compared to November in... Percent Change
Truck Rail Pipeline Air Vessel All Modes
2012 2.5 2.2 7.4 -4.0 -8.4 1.3
2011 7.3 17.0 1.2 -3.4 -11.5 6.3
2010 18.9 36.3 30.1 -2.5 22.8 21.6
2009 38.9 58.0 42.6 4.8 63.7 41.6
2008 40.3 41.7 16.2 24.1 58.2 38.9
2007 17.5 21.6 28.8 9.4 9.5 17.6
2006 26.3 33.9 43.7 25.3 56.7 31.0
2005 30.9 43.7 28.3 34.1 64.0 35.3
2004 44.6 58.5 78.5 42.9 89.1 51.6

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   November 2012 November 2013 Percent Change November 2012-2013
All Modes Imports 27,679 27,146 -1.9
Exports 24,677 25,668 4.0
Total 52,356 52,814 0.9
All Surface Modes Imports 23,121 23,515 1.7
Exports 20,184 20,519 1.7
Total 43,306 44,035 1.7
Truck Imports 11,738 11,655 -0.7
Exports 17,063 17,325 1.5
Total 28,801 28,980 0.6
Rail Imports 6,242 6,183 -1.0
Exports 2,569 2,805 9.2
Total 8,812 8,987 2.0
Pipeline Imports 5,141 5,677 10.4
Exports 552 390 -29.3
Total 5,693 6,067 6.6
Vessel Imports 2,279 1,505 -34.0
Exports 780 1,382 77.2
Total 3,058 2,887 -5.6
Air Imports 1,036 990 -4.4
Exports 1,592 1,495 -6.1
Total 2,628 2,485 -5.4

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 5. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Canada for Each Mode of Transportation, November 2013

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
Truck Vehicles Other than Railway 3,191 2,611 5,803
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 886 2,631 3,517
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 390 5,654 6,044
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,181 1,252 2,433
Air Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 363 142 504

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   November 2012 November 2013 Percent Change November 2012-2013
All Modes Imports 23,692 23,718 0.1
Exports 18,828 19,588 4.0
Total 42,521 43,306 1.8
All Surface Modes Imports 18,895 19,475 3.1
Exports 14,770 15,626 5.8
Total 33,665 35,100 4.3
Truck Imports 15,496 15,727 1.5
Exports 11,882 12,880 8.4
Total 27,379 28,607 4.5
Rail Imports 3,379 3,727 10.3
Exports 2,667 2,465 -7.6
Total 6,046 6,192 2.4
Pipeline Imports 19 21 7.0
Exports 220 281 27.5
Total 240 302 25.8
Vessel Imports 3,714 3,218 -13.3
Exports 2,649 2,526 -4.6
Total 6,362 5,744 -9.7
Air Imports 727 610 -16.0
Exports 649 747 15.1
Total 1,376 1,357 -1.3

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

 

Table 7. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Mexico for Each Mode of Transportation, November 2013

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,647 4,591 7,238
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 683 2,813 3,496
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 281 21 302
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,779 2,672 4,450
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 230 225 456

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

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