The number of trucks entering the United States from Canada and Mexico rose from 7.7 million in 1994 to 11.4 million in 2004 (figure 1-18). While this resulted in annual growth of almost 4 percent per year, the number of trucks crossing into the United States declined in 2001 and 2003, compared with the previous year. For instance, the number of trucks entering from Canada fell by 3.8 percent and from Mexico by 4.9 percent in 2001. Truck entries in 2003 declined at 52 of the 72 U.S.-Canada ports of entry and 14 of the 22 U.S.-Mexico ports .
Between 1996 and 2004, the number of full rail containers entering from Canada increased 350 percent, without declining in 2001 (figure 1-19). From Mexico , the number of these rail containers rose 115 percent during the same period; however, most of the increase occurred between 1996 and 2000. Since 2000, growth has been slight. Rail crossings are also measured in number of trains (figure 1-20). These data show a different pattern, with uneven growth for both Canada and Mexico between 1994 and 2004. Total train crossings hit a low of 38,949 in 1999 and a high of 41,911 in 2003.
Trucks accounted for 64 percent ($453 billion) of total trade in 2004 between the United States and its two largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico . When rail is included, surface transportation carried 89 percent of this trade. The other 11 percent of cross border trade was transported by maritime vessels ($46 billion) and aircraft ($32 billion). Over $32 billion of the vessel trade was with Mexico and $23 billion of the air transported trade was with Canada . Data are not available on the numbers of vessels and aircraft entering the United States from Canada and Mexico , however, as they are for surface transportation.
1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, using data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Management Reporting, Data Warehouse CD-ROM, May 2005.
2. U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. -North American Trade and Freight Transportation Highlights Transborder Freight Data (Washington, DC: 2005).