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September 2014 North American Freight Numbers

Press Release Number: 
BTS 54-14
Date: 
Tuesday, November 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: 
September 2013 - September 2014

Table Version | Excel

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

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $102.2 billion in September 2014 as all five major transportation modes – air, vessel, pipeline, rail, and trucks – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in September 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1, Table 1). September was the seventh consecutive month with U.S.-NAFTA freight flows exceeding $100 billion.

Freight by Mode

In September, the value of commodities moving by pipeline grew by the largest percentage of any mode, 21.0 percent. Truck freight increased 8.6 percent followed by vessel, 5.4 percent; air, 2.2 percent; and rail, 0.6 percent (Figure 1, Table 2).

Of the $7.8 billion increase in the value of US-NAFTA freight from September 2013, truck freight contributed the most, $4.9 billion, followed by pipeline, $1.4 billion (Table 2).

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 accounted for $31.2 billion of exports and $30.1 billion of imports.  

Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 15.0 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel at 8.4 percent, pipeline at 7.9 percent, and air at 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.9 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:
September 2013 - September 2014

Table Version | Excel

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

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Year-over-year, the percent change in the value of U.S.-Canada freight moved by pipeline increased the most of any mode, growing 19.2 percent (Figure 2). Freight moved by truck increased 6.0 percent and rail by 3.3 percent, while air and vessel were essentially unchanged.

Trucks carried 54.0 percent of the $57.4 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail, 16.1 percent; pipeline, 13.3 percent; vessel, 5.3 percent and air, 4.3 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.4 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:
September 2013 - September 2014

Table Version | Excel

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

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-Mexico pipeline freight rose 60.5 percent, the largest percentage increase of any mode (Figure 3), due to an increase in U.S. exports of mineral fuels.  Freight moved by truck increased 11.5 percent; vessel, 8.5 percent; and air 5.3 percent. The 3.3 percent decline in rail freight was principally due to a decline in vehicles and parts trade.

Trucks carried 67.6 percent of the $44.9 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail, 13.5 percent; vessel, 12.4 percent; air, 3.0 percent; and pipeline, 1.0 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.2 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 6).

Commodities
In September 2014, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $7.6 billion, or 61.6 percent, moved by pipeline (Table 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in September 2014 was electrical machinery, of which $7.8 billion, or 91.5 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 October TransBorder numbers for Jan. 8.

 

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 87,383 90,766 90,326 3.9 -0.5
February 89,294 88,894 89,557 -0.4 0.7
March 99,726 95,757 101,478 -4.0 6.0
April 92,278 98,956 100,141 7.2 1.2
May 96,778 98,742 103,942 2.0 5.3
June 94,178 93,502 102,978 -0.7 10.1
July 87,815 93,080 101,075 6.0 8.6
August 94,847 96,426 100,624 1.7 4.4
September 89,809 94,465 102,245 5.2 8.2
October 98,612 103,140   4.6  
November 94,927 96,136   1.3  
December 84,766 90,906   7.2  
Year-to-date 832,107 850,588 892,366 2.2 4.9
Annual 1,110,413 1,140,770   2.7  

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   September 2013 September 2014 Percent Change September 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 51,442 55,512 7.9
Exports 43,023 46,733 8.6
Total 94,465 102,245 8.2
All Surface Modes Imports 42,927 46,940 9.3
Exports 35,417 37,789 6.7
Total 78,344 84,729 8.1
Truck Imports 27,048 30,082 11.2
Exports 29,386 31,234 6.3
Total 56,434 61,315 8.6
Rail Imports 9,787 9,860 0.7
Exports 5,408 5,430 0.4
Total 15,195 15,290 0.6
Pipeline Imports 6,092 6,998 14.9
Exports 623 1,125 80.5
Total 6,715 8,124 21.0
Vessel Imports 5,005 4,976 -0.6
Exports 3,162 3,635 15.0
Total 8,167 8,611 5.4
Air Imports 1,600 1,618 1.1
Exports 2,122 2,186 3.0
Total 3,722 3,804 2.2

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

September 2014 Compared to September in... Percent Change
Truck Rail Pipeline Air Vessel All Modes
2013 8.6 0.6 21.0 2.2 5.4 8.2
2012 14.7 9.0 35.2 2.5 2.3 13.8
2011 12.9 15.0 24.8 -7.6 -4.0 12.9
2010 25.8 35.0 65.9 -4.5 34.7 29.9
2009 49.3 73.4 86.9 10.6 60.1 54.7
2008 27.6 30.1 2.4 8.3 10.4 23.0
2007 31.9 24.4 79.9 17.1 37.9 34.1
2006 36.7 46.6 85.1 25.3 49.8 41.8
2005 43.7 51.2 68.1 28.7 76.0 48.1
2004 56.1 60.5 152.8 35.5 119.4 65.9

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   September 2013 September 2014 Percent Change September 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 28,162 30,656 8.9
Exports 24,959 26,710 7.0
Total 53,121 57,366 8.0
All Surface Modes Imports 23,830 26,421 10.9
Exports 20,735 21,439 3.4
Total 44,566 47,860 7.4
Truck Imports 11,868 13,273 11.8
Exports 17,331 17,688 2.1
Total 29,199 30,961 6.0
Rail Imports 5,892 6,163 4.6
Exports 3,051 3,079 0.9
Total 8,943 9,242 3.3
Pipeline Imports 6,071 6,984 15.1
Exports 354 672 90.1
Total 6,424 7,657 19.2
Vessel Imports 1,973 1,665 -15.6
Exports 1,057 1,372 29.7
Total 3,030 3,037 0.2
Air Imports 954 1,002 5.1
Exports 1,474 1,439 -2.3
Total 2,427 2,442 0.6

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, September 2014

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 2,415 9,971 12,386
Truck Vehicles Other than Railway 3,203 2,696 5,898
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 1,048 2,602 3,649
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 656 6,977 7,633
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,065 1,375 2,440
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 343 133 476

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   September 2013 September 2014 Percent Change September 2013-2014
All Modes Imports 23,280 24,856 6.8
Exports 18,063 20,023 10.9
Total 41,344 44,879 8.6
All Surface Modes Imports 19,097 20,519 7.4
Exports 14,682 16,350 11.4
Total 33,779 36,869 9.1
Truck Imports 15,181 16,808 10.7
Exports 12,055 13,546 12.4
Total 27,236 30,354 11.5
Rail Imports 3,895 3,697 -5.1
Exports 2,357 2,351 -0.2
Total 6,252 6,048 -3.3
Pipeline Imports 21 14 -33.5
Exports 270 453 67.9
Total 291 467 60.5
Vessel Imports 3,032 3,311 9.2
Exports 2,104 2,263 7.6
Total 5,137 5,575 8.5
Air Imports 646 616 -4.7
Exports 648 747 15.3
Total 1,294 1,363 5.3

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_DataFields.html.

 

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

(millions of current dollars)

Mode Commodities Exports Imports Total
All Modes Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 3,277 5,255 8,533
Truck Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 2,908 4,899 7,806
Rail Vehicles Other than Railway 553 2,658 3,211
Pipeline Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 453 14 467
Vessel Mineral Fuels; Oils and Waxes 1,355 2,551 3,907
Air Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts 292 227 519

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

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