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North American Trade Numbers by Mode of Transportation for January

Press Release Number: 
BTS 14-13
Date: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

bts_14_13.pdf | BTS_14_13.xls

Trucks carried 59.3 percent of the $90.5 billion in trade in January 2013 between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, followed by rail at 14.3 percent, vessels at 9.8 percent, pipelines at 8.1 percent and air at 3.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Table 2). The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 81.7 percent of the total NAFTA trade.

BTS, a part of the Department’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that in January 2013, for trade between the United States and Canada, trucks carried 53.1 percent of the $51.0 billion in trade, followed by rail at 16.2 percent, pipelines at 13.9 percent and vessels at 6.1 percent and air at 4.4 percent (Figure 3A and Table 4). The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.1 percent of the total U.S.-Canada trade.

In U.S. trade with Mexico in January 2013, trucks carried 67.4 percent of the $39.5 billion in trade, followed by vessels at 14.5 percent, rail at 11.8 percent, air at 3.1 percent and pipelines at 0.7 percent (Figure 3B and Table 7). The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 79.9 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico trade.

BTS monthly TransBorder press releases, beginning with January 2013 data, now contain data for air and vessel. Previous press releases defined surface modes as: truck, rail, pipeline, other and unknown modes. Beginning with this press release, “other and unknown” modes are not being grouped with surface transportation. Data on surface modes can be found in Figure 3 and in Tables 2, 4 and 7. See North American Transborder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004.

Figure 1: U.S. Trade with NAFTA Partners by All Modes of Transportation,
January 2004 - January 2013

:  U.S. Trade with NAFTA Partners by All Modes of Transportation, January 2004 - January 2013

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Figure 2: Trade Between the U.S. and NAFTA Partners,
January 2004- January 2013

Trade Between the U.S. and NAFTA Partners, January 2004- January 2013

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of U.S. trade with its NAFTA partners by all modes of transportation in January rose 66.6 percent from January 2009, during the last recession (Table 3). Data in this press release are not adjusted for inflation, except for the monthly totals illustrated in Figure 2 for comparison.

From January 2004, the first month that TransBorder freight data included air and vessel modes, the value of U.S. trade by all modes of transportation with its NAFTA partners increased by 76.5 percent to January 2013. Imports in January 2013 were up 66.5 percent since January 2004, while exports were up 90.3 percent (Figure 2 and Table 3).

All modes of transportation include freight movements by truck, rail, vessel, pipeline, air, other and unknown modes of transport. Figures 3a and 3b below provide a breakdown by value and percentage of each mode of freight transportation used in trade with Canada and Mexico for January. The shaded slices represent surface modes, which accounted for 83.2 percent of total trade with Canada and 79.9 percent of total trade with Mexico. By value, truck is the most heavily utilized mode for trade with both U.S.-NAFTA partners, accounting for $25.7 billion of imports and $28.0 billion of exports.

Figure 3a. Canada Freight by Mode, January 2013 Current dollars

Figure 3a. Canada Freight by Mode, January 2013 Current dollars
Figure 3b. Mexico Freight by Mode, January 2013 Current dollars

Figure 3b. Mexico Freight by Mode, January 2013 Current dollars

 

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of U.S. trade by all modes of transportation with its NAFTA partners increased 6.9 percent in January 2013 from December 2012 (Table 2). Freight flows moving across the border by truck increased by 11.8 percent, while freight moving by rail decreased by 5.8 percent from one month prior. Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal factors such as the number of days in each month.

From January 2012 to January 2013, the value of freight carried by truck rose by 3.0 percent while the value of freight carried by rail increased 4.8 percent. For trade statistics by mode and individual NAFTA partner, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 7 for Mexico.

In January, Michigan led all states in trade with Canada, at $5.7 billion (Table 5). In addition, New York had the largest year-to-year percentage increase among the top 10 states, at 12.0 percent. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by pipeline in January was mineral fuels, valued at $7.1 billion (Table 6).

Texas continued to lead all states in trade with Mexico by all modes of transportation at $15.9 billion (Table 8). In addition, Ohio had the largest year-to-year percentage increase among the top 10 states, at 19.1 percent. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by truck in January was electrical machinery with $6.9 billion in trade (Table 9).

Additional data adjusted for inflation and exchange rates can be found at 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 example, index values released in January 2012 were subject to revision in February, March and April of that year.

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 February 2013 TransBorder numbers for May 1.

 

Table 1. Value of Monthly U.S. Trade with NAFTA Partners

(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   16.1  
March 94,228 99,510   5.6  
April 87,097 92,199   5.9  
May 91,126 96,840   6.3  
June 90,663 94,200   3.9  
July 84,952 87,691   3.2  
August 93,450 94,593   1.2  
September 90,771 89,875   -1.0  
October 91,837 98,632   7.4  
November 90,401 94,877   5.0  
December 86,775 84,695   -2.4  
Year-to-date 79,608 87,490 90,512 9.9 3.5
Annual 1,057,924 1,109,988   4.9  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/
NOTE: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.  Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 2. U.S. Trade with NAFTA Partners by All Modes of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   January 2012 December 2012 January 2013 Percent Change December 2012 - January 2013 Percent Change January 2012 - 2013
All Modes Imports 48,266 46,103 49,513 7.4 2.6
Exports 39,224 38,591 40,999 6.2 4.5
Total 87,490 84,695 90,512 6.9 3.5
All Surface Modes Imports 39,754 37,346 40,548 8.6 2.0
Exports 32,138 30,100 33,417 11.0 4.0
Total 71,892 67,446 73,965 9.7 2.9
Truck Imports 25,280 23,239 25,684 10.5 1.6
Exports 26,866 24,796 28,014 13.0 4.3
Total 52,146 48,035 53,698 11.8 3.0
Rail Imports 7,754 9,006 8,386 -6.9 8.2
Exports 4,562 4,697 4,518 -3.8 -1.0
Total 12,316 13,703 12,904 -5.8 4.8
Pipeline Imports 6,720 5,101 6,478 27.0 -3.6
Exports 710 607 885 45.9 24.8
Total 7,430 5,708 7,363 29.0 -0.9
Vessel Imports 5,930 5,628 5,809 3.2 -2.0
Exports 2,624 3,492 3,020 -13.5 15.1
Total 8,554 9,120 8,829 -3.2 3.2
Air Imports 1,383 1,591 1,497 -5.9 8.2
Exports 2,019 2,097 1,955 -6.7 -3.2
Total 3,402 3,688 3,452 -6.4 1.5

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 surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline 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://www.bts.gov/programs/international/TransBorder/TBDR_DataFields.html

 

Table 3. January 2013 Total Trade with NAFTA Partners Compared with January of Prior Years

Compared to January in… Percent Change
Imports Exports Total Trade
2012 2.6 4.5 3.5
2011 12.3 15.4 13.7
2010 33.1 43.0 37.4
2009 66.4 66.8 66.6
2008 14.4 27.0 19.8
2007 24.2 44.2 32.5
2006 19.4 47.0 30.5
2005 46.4 65.5 54.5
2004 66.5 90.3 76.5

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

 

Table 4. U.S. Trade with Canada by All Modes of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   January 2012 December 2012 January 2013 Percent Change December 2012 - January 2013 Percent Change January 2012 - 2013
All Modes Imports 26,773 25,798 27,963 8.4 4.4
Exports 21,969 22,191 23,049 3.9 4.9
Total 48,742 47,989 51,013 6.3 4.7
All Surface Modes Imports 23,265 21,115 23,570 11.6 1.3
Exports 18,183 17,810 18,822 5.7 3.5
Total 41,448 38,925 42,392 8.9 2.3
Truck Imports 10,985 10,130 11,294 11.5 2.8
Exports 15,435 14,803 15,774 6.6 2.2
Total 26,420 24,933 27,068 8.6 2.5
Rail Imports 5,580 5,903 5,816 -1.5 4.2
Exports 2,303 2,664 2,431 -8.7 5.6
Total 7,883 8,567 8,247 -3.7 4.6
Pipeline Imports 6,700 5,082 6,460 27.1 -3.6
Exports 445 343 617 80.1 38.6
Total 7,145 5,425 7,077 30.5 -1.0
Vessel Imports 1,958 2,472 2,209 -10.6 12.8
Exports 478 937 891 -4.9 86.3
Total 2,436 3,409 3,100 -9.1 27.3
Air Imports 736 950 893 -6.0 21.3
Exports 1,434 1,504 1,353 -10.0 -5.7
Total 2,170 2,454 2,246 -8.5 3.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/
NOTES: Percent changes 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, and other transportation.  For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/TransBorder/TBDR_DataFields.html

 

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

Ranked by January 2013 Trade Value
(millions of current dollars)

State January 2012 January 2013 Percent Change January 2012- 2013
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 5,786 1 5,676 1 -1.9
Illinois 5,099 2 5,059 2 -0.8
Texas 3,119 4 3,222 3 3.3
Ohio 2,904 5 3,221 4 10.9
California 3,208 3 3,026 5 -5.7
New York 2,603 6 2,915 6 12.0
Washington 1,876 8 1,979 7 5.5
Pennsylvania 1,987 7 1,938 8 -2.5
Indiana 1,439 11 1,609 9 11.8
Minnesota 1,576 9 1,512 10 -4.1

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.

 

Table 6. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Canada for Each Mode of Transportation, January 2013

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
Truck Computer-Related Machinery and Parts 2,996 1,396 4,392
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 582 2,266 2,848
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 617 6,439 7,056
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 701 2021 2,722
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 305 131 436

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 7. U.S. Trade with Mexico by All Modes of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   January 2012 December 2012 January 2013 Percent Change December 2012 - January 2013 Percent Change January 2012 - 2013
All Modes Imports 21,494 20,305 21,550 6.1 0.3
Exports 17,255 16,401 17,949 9.4 4.0
Total 38,748 36,705 39,499 7.6 1.9
All Surface Modes Imports 16,488 16,231 16,977 4.6 3.0
Exports 13,954 12,290 14,596 18.8 4.6
Total 30,442 28,521 31,573 10.7 3.7
Truck Imports 14,295 13,110 14,389 9.8 0.7
Exports 11,431 9,993 12,241 22.5 7.1
Total 25,726 23,103 26,630 15.3 3.5
Rail Imports 2,173 3,102 2,570 -17.2 18.2
Exports 2,259 2,033 2,087 2.6 -7.6
Total 4,432 5,135 4,657 -9.3 5.1
Pipeline Imports 20 19 18 -5.1 -11.9
Exports 264 264 268 1.5 1.4
Total 284 283 286 1.1 0.7
Vessel Imports 3,972 3,157 3,600 14.0 -9.4
Exports 2,145 2,555 2,129 -16.7 -0.7
Total 6,117 5,712 5,729 0.3 -6.3
Air Imports 647 641 604 -5.8 -6.7
Exports 585 593 602 1.6 3.0
Total 1,232 1,234 1,206 -2.3 -2.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/
NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 8. Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by All Modes of Transportation

Ranked by January 2013 Trade Value
(millions of current dollars)

State January 2012 January 2013 Percent Change January 2012- 2013
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 15,604 1 15,887 1 1.8
California 4,975 2 4,748 2 -4.6
Michigan 3,147 3 3,540 3 12.5
Illinois 1,219 4 1,335 4 9.5
Arizona 1,141 5 1,216 5 6.5
Ohio 851 7 1,013 6 19.1
Louisiana 1,050 6 859 7 -18.2
Tennessee 726 8 790 8 8.8
Georgia 513 13 576 9 12.2
Indiana 572 10 572 10 -0.02

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/
NOTE: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

 

Table 9. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Mexico for Each Mode of Transportation, January 2013

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,863 4,056 6,920
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 444 1,926 2,370
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 268 18 286
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,240 3248 4,489
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 208 163 371

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