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2014 North American Freight Numbers

Press Release Number: 
BTS 13-15
Date: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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Figure 1: U.S.-NAFTA Merchandise Trade by Mode: 2010-2014
(billions of current dollars)

Table Version | Excel

Figure 1: U.S.-NAFTA Merchandise Trade by Mode: 2010-2014

Four of five transportation modes – truck, rail, pipeline, and vessel – carried more U.S. freight with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico by value in 2014 than in 2013 as the overall value of freight on all modes rose 4.5 percent in current dollars to $1.2 trillion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1 and Table 1).

In 2014 compared to 2013, the value of commodities moving by pipeline grew the most, 12.5 percent, despite a decline in cost per unit of petroleum products, due to the increased volume of freight. Truck increased 4.5 percent, rail increased 1.5 percent, vessel increased 0.2 percent, and air decreased 0.2 percent.

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, 2014
(billions of current dollars)

Table Version | Excel

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, 2014

Freight by Mode
Trucks carried 59.9 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and were the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $348.7 billion of the $640.2 billion of imports (54.5 percent) and $365.9 billion of the $552.5 billion of exports (66.2 percent) (Table 1).

Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 14.9 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 8.7 percent; pipeline, 7.9 percent and air, 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.7 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Figure 2, Table 1).

Although trucks carry almost three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight, 59.9 percent in 2014, its share has decreased by 3.7 percentage points from 2004, the first year of BTS data for all modes. During the last decade, pipeline’s percentage share rose 2.5 points while vessel rose 2.2 points (Table 1). 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. See North American Transborder Freight Data  for historic data.

Freight with Canada
From 2013 to 2014, total U.S.-Canada freight rose 3.8 percent. Trucks carried 53.8 percent of the $658.2 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail, 15.8 percent; pipeline, 13.5 percent; vessel, 5.9 percent; and air, 4.3 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.1 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 2).

Although trucks carry more than half of U.S.-Canada freight, 53.8 percent in 2014, its share of total freight has decreased by 6.6 percentage points from 2004, the first year of BTS data for all modes. Truck’s share of imports decreased 8.8 percentage points from 2004, while pipeline’s percent share of imports rose 8.4 points and vessel exports rose 4.0 points (Table 2).

Michigan led all states in freight with Canada in 2014 with $74.2 billion.  Of the top 10 states for U.S.-Canada freight in 2014, Texas had the highest percent change over 2013, a 19.2 percent increase (Table 3).

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada in 2014 was mineral fuels at $148.1 billion with $88.7 billion or 59.9 percent moved by pipelines.  The next highest commodity category transported by a single mode in U.S.-Canada freight was vehicles and vehicle parts (other than railway vehicles and parts) with $66.9 billion in freight moved by trucks (Table 6).

Freight with Mexico
From 2013 to 2014, total U.S.-Mexico freight rose 5.5 percent. Trucks carried 67.5 percent of the $534.5 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail, 13.8 percent; vessel, 12.2 percent; air, 2.9 percent; and pipeline, 0.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.2 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 4).

Although trucks carry roughly two-thirds of U.S.-Mexico freight, 67.5 percent in 2014. its share of total freight decreased by 1.6 percentage points from 2004, the first year of BTS data for all modes. Truck’s share of exports decreased 4.6 percentage points from 2004 while vessel’s percentage share of exports rose 4.5 points (Table 4).

Texas led all states in freight with Mexico in 2014 with $192.8 billion.  Of the top 10 states for U.S.-Mexico freight in 2014, Indiana had the highest percent change over 2013, a 27.4 percent increase (Table 5). 

The top commodity transported between the U.S. and Mexico in 2014 was electrical machinery at $96.6 billion with $88.4 billion or 91.5 percent moved by trucks.  The next highest commodity category transported by a single mode in U.S.-Mexico freight was computers with $76.4 billion in freight moved by truck (Table 7).

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 January TransBorder numbers for March 31.

 

Table 1. Modal Shares of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows

Freight by All Modes

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   2004 2013 2014 Percent Change
2004-2014
Percent Change
2013-2014
All Modes Imports 411,771 613,082 640,220 55.5 4.4
Exports 299,877 527,689 552,451 84.2 4.7
Total 711,647 1,140,770 1,192,671 67.6 4.5
Mode   Share of Total by Mode (percent of total value) Percentage Point Change
2004-2014
Percentage Point Change
2013-2014
2004 2013 2014
All Surface Modes Imports 85.6 83.4 84.5 -1.1 1.1
Exports 82.4 81.7 80.6 -1.8 -1.1
Total 84.3 82.6 82.7 -1.6 0.1
Truck Imports 57.7 53.1 54.5 -3.3 1.4
Exports 71.8 67.9 66.2 -5.5 -1.7
Total 63.6 59.9 59.9 -3.7 0.0
Rail Imports 19.0 18.5 17.7 -1.3 -0.8
Exports 10.1 11.7 11.7 1.6 -0.1
Total 15.2 15.4 14.9 -0.3 -0.5
Pipeline Imports 8.9 11.8 12.3 3.4 0.5
Exports 0.6 2.1 2.7 2.2 0.6
Total 5.4 7.3 7.9 2.5 0.6
Vessel Imports 8.6 10.4 9.2 0.6 -1.2
Exports 3.5 7.6 8.1 4.6 0.5
Total 6.5 9.1 8.7 2.2 -0.4
Air Imports 2.9 3.0 2.9 0.0 -0.2
Exports 6.7 4.8 4.6 -2.1 -0.2
Total 4.5 3.9 3.7 -0.8 -0.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

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_DataFields.html

The percentage of modal share for all surface modes equals the sum of the share of the truck, rail and pipeline modes.

 

Table 2. Modal Shares of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows

Trade by All Modes

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   2004 2013 2014 Percent Change
2004-2014
Percent Change
2013-2014
All Modes Imports 255,928 332,553 346,063 35.2 4.1
Exports 189,101 301,610 312,125 65.1 3.5
Total 445,029 634,162 658,188 47.9 3.8
Mode   Share of Total by Mode (percent of total value) Percentage Point Change
2004-2014
Percentage Point Change
2013-2014
2004 2013 2014
All Surface Modes Imports 88.9 85.4 85.9 -3.0 0.5
Exports 81.5 82.7 80.1 -1.4 -2.6
Total 85.8 84.1 83.1 -2.6 -1.0
Truck Imports 51.9 42.3 43.1 -8.8 0.8
Exports 71.9 68.9 65.6 -6.2 -3.3
Total 60.4 54.9 53.8 -6.6 -1.1
Rail Imports 22.6 21.5 20.0 -2.6 -1.4
Exports 8.8 11.3 11.1 2.4 -0.1
Total 16.8 16.7 15.8 -0.9 -0.8
Pipeline Imports 14.4 21.7 22.8 8.4 1.1
Exports 0.8 2.5 3.3 2.5 0.8
Total 8.6 12.6 13.5 4.9 1.0
Vessel Imports 4.2 7.0 6.0 1.8 -1.0
Exports 1.6 4.2 5.7 4.0 1.4
Total 3.1 5.7 5.9 2.7 0.1
Air Imports 3.3 3.4 3.3 0.0 -0.1
Exports 7.5 5.9 5.4 -2.1 -0.5
Total 5.1 4.6 4.3 -0.8 -0.3

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

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_DataFields.html

The percentage of modal share for all surface modes equals the sum of the share of the truck, rail and pipeline modes.

 

Table 3. Top 10 States Trading with Canada by All Modes of Transportation

Ranked by 2014 Value

(millions of current dollars)

State 2013 2014 Percent Change
2013 -2014
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 74,870 1 74,249 1 -0.8
Illinois 60,109 2 67,086 2 11.6
Texas 40,741 4 48,551 3 19.2
California 45,262 3 46,129 4 1.9
Ohio 37,372 5 37,785 5 1.1
New York 36,260 6 34,168 6 -5.8
Washington 23,565 7 25,264 7 7.2
Pennsylvania 23,227 8 24,707 8 6.4
Indiana 19,606 9 20,338 9 3.7
Minnesota 19,181 10 19,346 10 0.9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transborder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

NOTE: Percent change based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 4. Modal Shares of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows

Trade by All Modes

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   2004 2013 2014 Percent Change
2004-2014
Percent Change
2013-2014
All Modes Imports 155,843 280,529 294,157 88.8 4.9
Exports 110,775 226,079 240,326 116.9 6.3
Total 266,618 506,608 534,484 100.5 5.5
Mode   Share of Total by Mode (percent of total value) Percentage Point Change
2004-2014
Percentage Point Change
2013-2014
2004 2013 2014
All Surface Modes Imports 80.3 81.0 82.9 2.6 1.9
Exports 84.0 80.4 81.3 -2.7 0.9
Total 81.8 80.8 82.2 0.4 1.4
Truck Imports 67.3 65.9 67.9 0.5 1.9
Exports 71.6 66.5 67.0 -4.6 0.5
Total 69.1 66.2 67.5 -1.6 1.3
Rail Imports 13.0 15.0 15.0 2.0 0.0
Exports 12.3 12.3 12.3 0.0 0.0
Total 12.7 13.8 13.8 1.1 0.0
Pipeline Imports 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0
Exports 0.1 1.6 2.0 1.9 0.4
Total 0.0 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.2
Vessel Imports 15.9 14.3 13.0 -2.9 -1.4
Exports 6.7 12.0 11.3 4.5 -0.7
Total 12.1 13.3 12.2 0.1 -1.1
Air Imports 2.2 2.6 2.4 0.1 -0.2
Exports 5.4 3.4 3.6 -1.8 0.2
Total 3.6 3.0 2.9 -0.6 0.0

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

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_DataFields.html

The percentage of modal share for all surface modes equals the sum of the share of the truck, rail and pipeline modes.

 

Table 5. Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by All Modes of Transportation

Ranked by 2014 Value

(millions of current dollars)

State 2013 2014 Percent Change
2013 -2014
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 195,585 1 192,761 1 -1.4
California 60,154 2 66,669 2 10.8
Michigan 52,430 3 53,283 3 1.6
Illinois 18,993 4 21,272 4 12.0
Arizona 14,106 5 15,943 5 13.0
Ohio 12,633 6 13,797 6 9.2
Tennessee 10,010 8 11,486 7 14.7
Louisiana 11,093 7 10,612 8 -4.3
Indiana 7,968 9 10,153 9 27.4
Georgia 7,886 10 9,049 10 14.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transborder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

NOTE: Percent change based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 32,745 115,341 148,086
Truck Vehicles Other than Railway 37,306 29,637 66,943
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 11,116 26,238 37,354
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 10,157 78,590 88,746
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 15,257 17,407 32,664
Air Computer Related Machinery and Parts 3,969 1,771 5,740

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

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_DataFields.html

 

Table 7. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Mexico for Each Mode of Transportation, 2014

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 38,355 58,219 96,574
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 34,169 54,239 88,408
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 6,624 32,382 39,007
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 4,781 205 4,986
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 16,109 29,221 45,330
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 3,081 2,212 5,293

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/ as of Feb 2015.

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_DataFields.html