You are here

Trucks Transported 60.6% of U.S.-NAFTA Trade in April 2013

Press Release Number: 
BTS 30-13
Date: 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

PDF | Excel

Figure 1.  April U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by All Modes of Transportation
2004-2013
(April of each year)

April U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by All Modes of Transportation  2004-2013 (April of each year)

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation today released the April North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) freight numbers showing that trucks carried 60.6 percent of the $99.0 billion of freight moved in April 2013 between the United States and its NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico.  Trucks were followed by rail at 15.1 percent, vessels at 9.2 percent, pipelines at 6.8 percent and air at 3.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.5 percent of the total NAFTA freight flows.

BTS, a part of the Department’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that in April, for freight flows with Canada, trucks carried 55.2 percent of the $54.7 billion of freight, followed by rail at 17.2 percent, pipelines at 11.7 percent, vessels at 6.0 percent and air at 4.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.0 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

For freight flows with Mexico in April, trucks carried 67.3 percent of the $44.2 billion of freight, followed by rail at 12.6 percent, vessel at 13.2 percent, air at 2.8 percent and pipelines at 0.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 80.7 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.

Beginning with January 2013, BTS monthly TransBorder press releases contain data for all modes of transportation. Press releases and the BTS website now define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline.  Data on surface modes can be found in Figure 3 and in Tables 2, 3, 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 2.  Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows
January 2004- April 2013

Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows  January 2004- April 2013

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of goods moving between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners by all modes of transportation increased 7.4 percent from April 2012 and rose 74.4 percent from April 2009 (Table 3). Data in this press release are not adjusted for inflation, except for the monthly totals illustrated in Figure 2 for comparison.

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.  Figure 3 below provides a breakdown by value and percentage of each mode of freight transportation used in moving goods between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners in April. The dotted slices represent surface modes, which accounted for 82.5 percent of the total. By value, truck is the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners, accounting for $31.4 billion of exports and $28.6 billion of imports.

Figure 3. U.S.-NAFTA Freight by Mode, April 2013
Current dollars, Share of total

U.S.-NAFTA Freight by Mode, April 2013

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Freight flows by all modes of transportation between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners increased 3.6 percent in April 2013 from March 2013, measured in current dollars (Table 2).  Freight moving across the border by truck increased by 4.6 percent, while freight moving by rail decreased by 5.3 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 April 2012 to April 2013, the value of freight carried by truck rose 8.6 percent while the value of freight carried by rail grew 7.3 percent. For statistics by mode and individual NAFTA partner, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 7 for Mexico. 

In April, Michigan led all states in goods transported to and from Canada, at $6.4 billion (Table 5).  Ohio had the largest year-to-year percentage increase among the top 10 states, at 15.9 percent.  New Jersey had the largest year-to-year decrease at 15.6 percent.  The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada in April was mineral fuels moved by pipeline, valued at $6.4 billion, of which $5.9 billion was imported (Table 6).

Texas continued to lead all states in goods transported to and from Mexico by all modes of transportation at $17.0 billion (Table 8).  Louisiana had the largest year-to-year percentage increase among the top 10 states, at 61.1 percent. The Louisiana-Mexico increase was due largely to a 152.4 percent rise in mineral fuels trade from April 2012 to April 2013. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in April was electrical machinery moved by truck, valued at $7.5 billion, of which $3.0 billion was exported (Table 9).

Additional 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 individual state data.  BTS has scheduled the release of May TransBorder numbers for July 31.

 

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   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 337,949 368,585 373,511 9.1 1.3
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   April 2012 March 2013 April 2013 Percent Change March 2013- April 2013 Percent Change April 2012 - 2013
All Modes Imports 50,461 51,542 52,925 2.7 4.9
Exports 41,738 44,024 46,060 4.6 10.4
Total 92,199 95,566 98,984 3.6 7.4
All Surface Modes Imports 41,634 43,845 44,042 0.4 5.8
Exports 34,347 35,954 37,669 4.8 9.7
Total 75,981 79,799 81,711 2.4 7.5
Truck Imports 26,791 27,711 28,569 3.1 6.6
Exports 28,419 29,619 31,384 6.0 10.4
Total 55,211 57,330 59,953 4.6 8.6
Rail Imports 8,807 10,377 9,572 -7.8 8.7
Exports 5,156 5,438 5,410 -0.5 4.9
Total 13,964 15,815 14,983 -5.3 7.3
Pipeline Imports 6,035 5,757 5,900 2.5 -2.2
Exports 771 897 875 -2.5 13.5
Total 6,806 6,654 6,775 1.8 -0.5
Vessel Imports 6,173 4,608 5,918 28.4 -4.1
Exports 2,834 3,142 3,178 1.1 12.1
Total 9,008 7,750 9,095 17.4 1.0
Air Imports 1,432 1,432 1,652 15.4 15.4
Exports 1,975 2,089 2,143 2.6 8.5
Total 3,407 3,521 3,795 7.8 11.4

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

April 2013 Compared to April in… Percent Change
Truck Rail Pipeline Air Vessel All Modes
2012 8.6 7.3 -0.5 11.4 1.0 7.4
2011 17.7 17.7 4.4 2.7 -5.6 13.6
2010 29.8 33.3 27.8 12.0 34.5 30.3
2009 66.9 103.4 102.9 29.8 121.5 74.4
2008 21.5 19.8 -17.9 7.1 7.0 14.6
2007 32.4 32.3 40.3 35.0 62.9 34.8
2006 39.5 39.7 53.5 30.9 46.8 39.7
2005 45.7 48.7 84.1 45.6 96.7 51.1
2004 56.9 61.3 132.6 36.6 157.8 66.4

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   April 2012 March 2013 April 2013 Percent Change March 2013- April 2013 Percent Change April 2012 - 2013
All Modes Imports 27,721 28,299 28,591 1.0 3.1
Exports 24,445 26,044 26,158 0.4 7.0
Total 52,165 54,343 54,749 0.7 5.0
All Surface Modes Imports 23,765 24,258 24,564 1.3 3.4
Exports 20,486 21,716 21,434 -1.3 4.6
Total 44,251 45,975 45,998 0.1 3.9
Truck Imports 11,876 11,983 12,303 2.7 3.6
Exports 17,116 17,944 17,895 -0.3 4.5
Total 28,993 29,927 30,198 0.9 4.2
Rail Imports 5,873 6,538 6,382 -2.4 8.7
Exports 2,841 3,194 3,015 -5.6 6.1
Total 8,714 9,732 9,396 -3.5 7.8
Pipeline Imports 6,016 5,737 5,879 2.5 -2.3
Exports 529 578 525 -9.2 -0.7
Total 6,544 6,315 6,404 1.4 -2.1
Vessel Imports 2,303 1,913 2,209 15.5 -4.1
Exports 593 614 1,052 71.4 77.3
Total 2,897 2,526 3,261 29.1 12.6
Air Imports 751 901 971 7.8 29.4
Exports 1,368 1,514 1,564 3.3 14.3
Total 2,118 2,415 2,535 5.0 19.7

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 10 State Freight Flows with Canada by All Modes of Transportation

Ranked by April 2013 Trade Value

(millions of current dollars)

State April 2012 April 2013 Percent Change April 2012- 2013
Value Rank Value Rank
Michigan 6,000 1 6,379 1 6.3
Illinois 5,513 2 4,785 2 -13.2
California 3,578 3 4,047 3 13.1
Ohio 3,029 5 3,511 4 15.9
Texas 3,279 4 3,356 5 2.3
New York 2,792 6 3,120 6 11.8
Pennsylvania 1,917 7 1,971 7 2.8
Washington 1,740 8 1,913 8 9.9
Indiana 1,688 10 1,739 9 3.0
New Jersey 1,732 9 1,462 10 -15.6

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
Truck Vehicles Other than Railway 3,823 2,485 6,307
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 989 2,444 3,432
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 524 5,854 6,378
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 897 1,949 2,846
Air Pearls; Stones; Metals and Imitation Jewelry 282 254 536

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   April 2012 March 2013 April 2013 Percent Change March 2013- April 2013 Percent Change April 2012 - 2013
All Modes Imports 22,740 23,243 24,334 4.7 7.0
Exports 17,293 17,980 19,901 10.7 15.1
Total 40,033 41,224 44,235 7.3 10.5
All Surface Modes Imports 17,869 19,587 19,478 -0.6 9.0
Exports 13,860 14,238 16,235 14.0 17.1
Total 31,729 33,824 35,712 5.6 12.6
Truck Imports 14,915 15,728 16,266 3.4 9.1
Exports 11,303 11,675 13,489 15.5 19.3
Total 26,218 27,403 29,756 8.6 13.5
Rail Imports 2,934 3,838 3,191 -16.9 8.8
Exports 2,315 2,244 2,395 6.7 3.5
Total 5,249 6,083 5,586 -8.2 6.4
Pipeline Imports 20 20 21 4.2 5.2
Exports 242 319 350 9.8 44.5
Total 262 339 371 9.4 41.5
Vessel Imports 3,870 2,695 3,708 37.6 -4.2
Exports 2,241 2,528 2,126 -15.9 -5.1
Total 6,111 5,223 5,834 11.7 -4.5
Air Imports 681 531 681 28.1 -0.1
Exports 608 575 579 0.7 -4.7
Total 1,289 1,106 1,260 13.9 -2.3

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 8. Top 10 State Freight Flows with Mexico by All Modes of Transportation

Ranked by April 2013 Trade Value

(millions of current dollars)

State April 2012 April 2013 Percent Change April 2012- 2013
Value Rank Value Rank
Texas 15,643 1 16,971 1 8.5
California 5,115 2 5,244 2 2.5
Michigan 3,956 3 4,079 3 3.1
Illinois 1,293 4 1,625 4 25.7
Louisiana 833 7 1,342 5 61.1
Arizona 1,144 5 1,304 6 14.0
Ohio 916 6 1,145 7 24.9
Tennessee 694 8 857 8 23.5
Florida 576 11 834 9 44.9
Georgia 540 12 692 10 28.0

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 3,036 4,498 7,534
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 620 2,322 2,942
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 350 21 371
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,378 3,144 4,522
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 198 254 453

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

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