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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

2018 North American Transborder Freight Numbers

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
 
Transborder freight between the U.S. and other North American countries (Canada and Mexico) in 2018:
  • Most-used mode: Truck moved $772 billion of freight, up 7.1 percent compared to 2017
  • Second mode: Rail moved $179 billion of freight, up 2.7 percent compared to December 2017

Truck Freight: $772 billion (62.8 percent of all transborder freight)

  • By border:
U.S.-Canada: $348 billion (56.4 percent of all northern border freight)
U.S.-Mexico: $424 billion (69.3 percent of all southern border freight)
  • Compared to previous year:
U.S.-Canada up 3.6 percent
U.S.-Mexico up 10.2 percent
  • Busiest three truck border ports (46.2 percent of total transborder truck freight):
    • Laredo, TX:      $184 billion
    • Detroit, MI:       $109 billion
    • El Paso, TX:        $63 billion
  • Top three truck commodities (51.1 percent of total transborder truck freight):
    • Computers and parts:                $151 billion
    • Electrical machinery:                $124 billion
    • Motor vehicles and parts:         $120 billion

Rail Freight: $179 billion (14.6 percent of all transborder freight)

  • By border:
U.S.-Canada: $100 billion (16.3 percent of all northern border freight)
U.S.-Mexico:   $78 billion (12.8 percent of all southern border freight)
  • Compared to previous year:
U.S.-Canada up 6.7 percent
U.S.-Mexico down 2.0 percent

 

  • Busiest three rail border ports (52.4 percent of total transborder rail freight):
    • Laredo, TX:                $43 billion
    • Port Huron, MI:          $26 billion
    • Detroit, MI:                 $25 billion

 

  • Top three rail commodities (60.0 percent of total transborder rail freight):
    • Motor vehicles and parts:       $83 billion
    • Mineral fuels:                         $13 billion
    • Plastics:                                   $11 billion

 

 

Total Transborder Freight: $1.2 trillion of transborder freight moved by all modes of transportation, up 7.8 percent from 2017.

 

Freight by Mode:

U.S.-Canada (both directions)
(Dollars in billions)
Truck:             $348
Rail:                $100
Pipeline:            $68               
Air:                   $30
Vessel:              $30

           

Almost all (99.4 percent) of pipeline freight between the U.S. and Canada were mineral fuels, primarily oil and gas. Most of these freight flows were on pipelines linking Canada and the American Midwest.

 

U.S.-Mexico (both directions)
(Dollars in billions)
Truck:             $424
Rail:                  $78
Vessel:              $67   
Air:                   $17
Pipeline:             $5   

                       

Of freight by vessel between the U.S. and Mexico, $38 billion, or 57.5 percent were mineral fuels, primarily oil and gas shipments between Gulf of Mexico ports in the U.S. and Mexico – with over half of those shipments going through Texas ports. 

 

Reporting Notes

Data in this Bureau of Transportation Statistics release are not seasonally adjusted and are not adjusted for inflation. For previous statistical releases and summary tables, see TransBorder Releases. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and for additional state, port, and commodity data. BTS has scheduled the release of January TransBorder numbers for April 9.