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 Find the latest Coronavirus-related transportation statistics on the BTS COVID-19 landing page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Annual North American Transborder Freight down 13% in 2020 from 2019

Monday, March 8, 2021

Release Number: BTS  16-21

 

Transborder freight between the U.S. and other North American countries (Canada and Mexico) in 2020:

  • Total Transborder freight: $1.06 trillion of transborder freight moved by all modes of transportation, down 13.3% from 2019
  • Total Transborder freight declined in 2020 from 2019 in every month from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic until a 0.4% increase at the end of the year in December.
  • Most-used mode: Truck moved $695 billion of freight, down 10.0% compared to 2019
  • Second most-used mode: Rail moved $148 billion of freight, down 16.9% compared to 2019

 

 

Truck Freight: $695 billion (65.3% of all transborder freight)

  • By border:
    • U.S.-Canada: $309 billion (58.8% of all northern border freight)
    • U.S.-Mexico: $386 billion (71.1% of all southern border freight)
  • Compared to previous year:
    • U.S.-Canada down 9.9%
    • U.S.-Mexico down 10.1%

  • Busiest three truck border ports (44.6% of total transborder truck freight):
    • Laredo, TX:                              $163 billion
    • Detroit, MI:                               $  95 billion
    • Buffalo-Niagara Falls:              $  51 billion

  • Top three truck commodities (48.3% of total transborder truck freight):
    • Computers and parts:                $136 billion
    • Electrical machinery:                $110 billion
    • Motor vehicles and parts:         $  89 billion

 

 

Rail Freight: $148 billion (14.0% of all transborder freight)

  • By border:
    • U.S.-Canada:   $79 billion (15.0% of all northern border freight)
    • U.S.-Mexico:   $70 billion (13.0% of all southern border freight)
  • Compared to previous year:
    • U.S.-Canada down 18.3%
    • U.S.-Mexico down 15.3%

  • Busiest three rail border ports (54.8% of total transborder rail freight):
    • Laredo, TX:                $37 billion
    • Detroit, MI:                 $23 billion
    • Eagle Pass, TX:          $22 billion

  • Top three rail commodities (58.9% of total transborder rail freight):
    • Motor vehicles and parts:       $69 billion
    • Mineral fuels:                         $10 billion
    • Plastics:                                     $8 billion

 

Freight by Mode:

U.S.-Canada (both directions)
(Dollars in Billions)
Truck $309
Rail $79
Pipeline $48
Air $32
Vessel $20

    

Almost all (99.4%) 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 $386
Rail $70
Vessel $48
Air $14
Pipeline $5

                  

Of freight by vessel between the U.S. and Mexico, $22 billion, or 44.9% 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 March 24.