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North American Freight Numbers July 2014

Press Release Number: 
BTS 45-14
Date: 
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: 
July 2013 - July 2014

Table Version | Excel

Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode:   July 2013 - July 2014

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $101.1 billion in July 2014 as all five major transportation modes – air, vessel, pipeline, rail, and trucks – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in July 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by theU.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1, Table 1). This is the fifth consecutive month with U.S.-NAFTA freight flows exceeding $100 billion.

Freight by Mode

In July, the value of commodities moving by pipeline grew by the largest percentage of any mode, 10.8 percent. Rail freight increased 10.0 percent followed by a truck increase of 8.5 percent, vessel increase of 5.6 percent, and an air increase of 1.2 percent (Figure 1, Table 2).

Of the $7.9 billion increase in the value of US-NAFTA freight from July 2013, truck freight contributed the most, $4.7 billion, followed by rail, $1.4 billion (Table 2). The trucking increase was due to growth in truck freight with both Mexico, up $2.5 billion, and Canada, up $2.2 billion (Tables 4, 6).

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.2 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight in July 2014, accounting for $30.5 billion of exports and $29.3 billion of imports.

Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 14.8 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel at 9.1 percent, pipeline at 8.5 percent, and air at 3.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.4 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

U.S.-Canada Freight

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode:
July 2013 - July 2014

Table Version | Excel

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode: July 2013 - July 2014

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Year-to-year, the percent change in the value of U.S.-Canada freight moved by vessel increased the most of any mode, growing 30.9 percent, followed by a pipeline increase of 10.7 percent (Figure 2). The vessel increase was due to a doubling of export value to Canada while imports by vessel fell 2.6 percent.  U.S.-Canada pipeline freight comprised 95.2 percent of total U.S.-NAFTA pipeline freight in July.  Freight moved by rail increased by 8.5 percent, truck by 8.0 percent, and air by 2.0 percent.

Trucks carried 52.7 percent of the $55.2 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 15.2 percent, pipeline at 14.8 percent, vessel at 6.3 percent and air at 4.0 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.8 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 4).

U.S.-Mexico Freight

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode:
July 2013 - July 2014

Table Version | Excel

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode: July 2013 - July 2014

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Year-to-year, the value of rail freight rose 12.0 percent, the largest percentage increase of any U.S.-Mexico mode (Figure 3). Freight moved by pipeline increased 11.4 percent and truck by 8.8 percent, while air and vessel decreased by 0.1 and 5.3 percent respectively.  The decrease in vessel freight was principally due to a decline in mineral fuels imports.

Trucks carried 66.9 percent of the $45.9 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail at 14.2 percent, vessel at 12.6 percent, air at 2.7 percent and pipeline at 0.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.1 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 6).

Commodities
In July 2014, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $8.1 billion, or 60.2 percent, moved by pipeline (Table 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in July 2014 was electrical machinery, of which $7.6 billion, or 91.7 percent, moved by trucks (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 August TransBorder numbers for Oct. 23.

 

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

(millions of current dollars)

Month 2012 2013 2014 Percent Change 2012-2013 Percent Change 2013-2014
January 87,490 90,512 90,326 3.5 -0.2
February 89,385 88,449 89,557 -1.0 1.3
March 99,510 95,566 101,478 -4.0 6.2
April 92,199 98,984 100,141 7.4 1.2
May 96,840 98,577 103,942 1.8 5.4
June 94,200 93,483 102,978 -0.8 10.2
July 87,691 93,192 101,075 6.3 8.5
August 94,593 96,526   2.0  
September 89,875 94,350   5.0  
October 98,632 103,089   4.5  
November 94,877 96,120   1.3  
December 84,695 90,083   6.4  
Year-to-date 647,316 658,763 689,497 1.8 4.7
Annual 1,109,988 1,138,931   2.6  

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   July 2013 July 2014 Percent Change July 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 50,039 54,281 8.5
Exports 43,153 46,794 8.4
Total 93,192 101,075 8.5
All Surface Modes Imports 41,437 45,974 10.9
Exports 35,038 37,357 6.6
Total 76,475 83,331 9.0
Truck Imports 26,272 29,294 11.5
Exports 28,883 30,522 5.7
Total 55,154 59,816 8.5
Rail Imports 8,708 9,362 7.5
Exports 4,869 5,576 14.5
Total 13,577 14,938 10.0
Pipeline Imports 6,457 7,318 13.3
Exports 1,286 1,259 -2.0
Total 7,743 8,578 10.8
Vessel Imports 5,431 4,981 -8.3
Exports 3,324 4,266 28.3
Total 8,755 9,247 5.6
Air Imports 1,403 1,430 1.9
Exports 2,027 2,043 0.8
Total 3,430 3,473 1.2

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_DataFields.html.

 

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

July 2014 Compared to July in... Percent Change
Truck Rail Pipeline Air Vessel All Modes
2013 8.5 10.0 10.8 1.2 5.6 8.5
2012 14.2 15.0 38.4 7.9 5.4 15.3
2011 20.7 24.1 20.1 0.7 1.2 19.0
2010 35.2 68.9 70.4 -13.7 30.4 39.6
2009 62.0 115.9 91.3 8.5 71.2 68.0
2008 27.8 29.0 -6.4 -0.9 -15.5 17.4
2007 40.4 47.3 70.2 20.7 41.4 41.9
2006 50.6 68.7 99.6 23.6 44.8 55.2
2005 70.4 97.9 124.0 41.5 90.9 77.4
2004 74.6 103.3 150.3 40.5 150.1 86.3

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   July 2013 July 2014 Percent Change July 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 26,355 29,165 10.7
Exports 23,591 26,028 10.3
Total 49,946 55,193 10.5
All Surface Modes Imports 22,668 25,145 10.9
Exports 19,388 20,531 5.9
Total 42,056 45,675 8.6
Truck Imports 11,092 12,413 11.9
Exports 15,841 16,688 5.3
Total 26,933 29,101 8.0
Rail Imports 5,136 5,432 5.8
Exports 2,611 2,974 13.9
Total 7,747 8,406 8.5
Pipeline Imports 6,440 7,300 13.4
Exports 936 869 -7.2
Total 7,376 8,169 10.7
Vessel Imports 1,781 1,734 -2.6
Exports 864 1,730 100.2
Total 2,645 3,463 30.9
Air Imports 838 851 1.5
Exports 1,345 1,376 2.3
Total 2,183 2,227 2.0

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_DataFields.html.

 

Table 5. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Canada for Each Mode of Transportation, July 2014

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 3,037 10,441 13,478
Truck Vehicles Other than Railway 2,846 2,200 5,046
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 888 1,699 2,587
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 858 7,259 8,118
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,516 1,454 2,971
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 325 147 471

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   July 2013 July 2014 Percent Change July 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 23,684 25,116 6.0
Exports 19,562 20,766 6.2
Total 43,246 45,882 6.1
All Surface Modes Imports 18,769 20,829 11.0
Exports 15,650 16,827 7.5
Total 34,419 37,656 9.4
Truck Imports 15,179 16,881 11.2
Exports 13,042 13,834 6.1
Total 28,221 30,715 8.8
Rail Imports 3,572 3,930 10.0
Exports 2,258 2,602 15.2
Total 5,831 6,532 12.0
Pipeline Imports 17 18 5.1
Exports 349 390 11.7
Total 367 409 11.4
Vessel Imports 3,650 3,247 -11.0
Exports 2,459 2,536 3.1
Total 6,110 5,784 -5.3
Air Imports 564 579 2.6
Exports 683 667 -2.3
Total 1,247 1,245 -0.1

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. 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, July 2014

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 3,300 4,948 8,248
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,967 4,600 7,567
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 591 2,854 3,446
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 390 18 409
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,569 2,396 3,964
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 234 191 425

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

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