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4-7 Weight of U.S.-International Merchandise Trade by Mode of Transportation: 2011 (thousands of short tons)


  Exports Modal % Imports Modal % Total trade Total modal %
Total 837,420 100.0 1,136,887 100.0 1,974,307 100.0
Watera 631,217 75.4 848,733 74.7 1,479,950 75.0
Air 4,005 0.5 4,221 0.4 8,225 0.4
Truckb 118,949 14.2 88,933 7.8 207,882 10.5
Railb 61,945 7.4 80,109 7.0 142,054 7.2
Pipelineb 15,840 1.9 107,139 9.4 122,979 6.2
Other, unknown, & miscellaneousb 5,465 0.7 7,751 0.7 13,216 0.7

aThe 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. bBTS estimated 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.

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). Imports—excludes imports valued at $2,000 or less. Import value is based on U.S. general imports, customs value basis. Exports—excludes 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 air—U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, FT920 U.S. Merchandise Trade: Selected Highlights, December 2011, available at accessed August 2012. Truck, rail, pipeline and other, unknown, and miscellaneous—U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, available at accessed August 2012, and BTS special calculation, July 2012.