4-8 Weight of U.S.-International Merchandise Trade by Mode of Transportation: 2009

4-8 Weight of U.S.-International Merchandise Trade by Mode of Transportation: 2009

Excel | CSV

(Thousands of short tons)

  Exports Modal % Imports Modal % Total trade Total modal %
Total 637,048 100.0 1,062,068 100.0 1,699,116 100.0
Watera 498,049 78.2 826,420 77.8 1,324,469 78.0
Air 3,130 0.5 3,522 0.3 6,653 0.4
Truckb 79,804 12.5 75,436 7.1 155,240 9.1
Railb 47,375 7.4 61,057 5.7 108,432 6.4
Pipelineb 3,419 0.5 95,181 9.0 98,600 5.8
Other, unknown, & miscellaneousb 5,270 0.8 451 <0.05 5,722 0.3

a The weight data for water transportation vary from those officially reported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, because the data in this table exclude intransit shipments (merchandise shipped from one foreign country to another via a U.S. port but not part of U.S. official merchandise trade). BTS uses U.S. Census Bureau trade-based data to allow for a complete modal comparison among the different freight transportation modes. b The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) estimated the weight of exports for truck, rail, pipeline, mail and other and unknown modes based on the import weight-to-value ratios that vary by country, mode, and commodity. The import weight-to-value rations at the six, four, and two-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule code commodity detail are applied. Since the weight-to-value ratio of a given commodity drastically change from one year to another, BTS removed the irregular components (outliers) of the import ratios to produce a consistent and reliable export weight estimates.

Notes: Individual categories may not sum to totals due to rounding. Excludes intransit data (merchandise shipped from one foreign country to another via a U.S. port). Importsexcludes imports valued at less than $1,250. Import value is based on U.S. general imports, customs value basis. Exportsexcludes exports valued at less than $2,500. Export value is FAS (free alongside ship) and represents the value of exports at the port of export, including the transaction price and inland freight, insurance, and other charges.

Sources: Water and airU.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, FT920 U.S. Merchandise Trade: Selected Highlights (December Issues), available at http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/ft920_index.html as of August 2010. Truck, rail, pipeline and other, unknown, and miscellaneousU.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, available at http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/ as of November 2010, and BTS special calculation, August 2010.