North American Transborder Freight Data

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July 2017 North American Freight Numbers

Release Number: 
BTS 48-17
Date: 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
(Last 24 months)
View Table Data
Figure 1. U.S.-NAFTA Freight Value Percent Change from Previous Year (Last 24 months)
07/2015-8.0
08/2015-8.1
09/2015-8.8
10/2015-10.7
11/2015-8.4
12/2015-9.5
01/2016-7.7
02/2016-2.0
03/2016-5.8
04/2016-3.2
05/2016-3.1
06/2016-6.4
07/2016-10.0
08/20160.7
09/2016-2.3
10/2016-3.6
11/20163.3
12/20160.4
01/20176.7
02/20172.9
03/201710.9
04/20170.8
05/20179.4
06/20177.7
07/20176.5
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

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U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $89.2 billion as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in July 2017 compared to July 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 2, Table 1).

The 6.5 percent rise from July 2016 is the ninth consecutive month in which the year-over-year value in current dollars of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year (Figure 1).

Freight by Mode

View Table Data
Figure 2. Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: July 2016-2017
ModePercent Change
Truck4.0
Rail4.4
Pipeline23.1
Vessel24.0
Air2.3
All Modes6.5
Source: 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

The value of commodities moving by vessel increased 24.0 percent, pipeline by 23.1 percent, rail by 4.4 percent, truck by 4.0 percent, and air by 2.3 percent (Figure 2, Table 2). The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by vessel and pipeline is due in part to an increase in the volume of mineral fuel imports.

Trucks carried 63.2 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and continued to be the most utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $28.9 billion of the $47.6 billion of imports (60.7 percent) and $27.5 billion of the $41.6 billion of exports (66.2 percent) (Table 2).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.1 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 7.1 percent; pipeline, 5.6 percent; and air, 3.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.0 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

U.S.-Canada Freight

View Table Data
Figure 3. Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode: July 2016-2017
ModePercent Change
Truck2.5
Rail4.7
Pipeline26.7
Vessel29.7
Air-1.3
All Modes5.6
Source: 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

From July 2016 to July 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 5.6 percent to $44.8 billion as the value of freight on four major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on vessel increased by 29.7 percent, pipeline by 26.7 percent, rail by 4.7 percent, and truck by 2.5 percent. Air decreased by 1.3 percent (Figure 3, Table 3).

Trucks carried 57.9 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 15.6 percent followed by pipeline, 10.6 percent; air, 4.6 percent; and vessel, 4.5 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.1 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 3).

U.S.-Mexico Freight

View Table Data
Figure 4. Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode: July 2016-2017
ModePercent Change
Truck5.4
Rail4.2
Pipeline-16.1
Vessel21.5
Air8.4
All Modes7.4
Source: 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

From July 2016 to July 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 7.4 percent to $44.4 billion as the value of freight on four major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of commodities moved by vessel increased by 21.5 percent, air by 8.4 percent, truck by 5.4 percent, and rail by 4.2 percent. Pipeline decreased by 16.1 percent (Figure 4, Table 4).

Trucks carried 68.6 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 14.6 percent followed by vessel, 9.7 percent; air, 3.1 percent; and pipeline, 0.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.9 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 4).

Commodities

In July 2017, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $4.7 billion, or 65.5 percent, moved by pipeline (Figure 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in July 2017 was vehicles and parts, of which $4.1 billion or 49.6 percent moved by truck and $3.6 billion or 42.7 percent moved by rail (Figure 6).

(billions of current dollars)
View Table Data
ModeCommoditiesExportsImportsTotal
All Modes Mineral Fuels1.65.67.2
Truck Computers and Parts2.71.54.2
Rail Vehicles and Parts1.31.52.9
Pipeline Mineral Fuels0.83.94.7
Vessel Mineral Fuels0.50.91.4
Air Computers and Parts0.30.10.4
Notes: 

 Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

(billions of current dollars)
View Table Data
ModeCommoditiesExportsImportsTotal
All Modes Vehicles and Parts1.76.78.3
Truck Electrical Machinery2.94.47.3
Rail Vehicles and Parts0.43.13.6
Pipeline Mineral Fuels0.30.00.3
Vessel Mineral Fuels1.50.82.3
Air Electrical Machinery0.30.20.4
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

Reporting Notes

BTS press releases and the BTS website define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline. See North American TransBorder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004. The category of all modes of transportation cited in the following tables includes freight movements by truck, rail, vessel, pipeline, air, other and unknown modes of transport. 

Data in this press release are not seasonally adjusted and are not adjusted for inflation. Additional summary data adjusted for inflation and exchange rates can be found on the BTS website under TransBorder Indexed Freight Flow Data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indexes used in the adjustments for inflation and exchange rates might be revised in each of the three months after original publication. 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 July TransBorder numbers for Oct. 24.

(millions of current dollars)
View Table Data
Month201520162017 Percent Change 2015-2016 Percent Change 2016-2017
January89,25882,43087,960-7.76.7
February85,72384,03886,474-2.02.9
March96,07090,462100,289-5.810.9
April93,32790,38091,068-3.20.8
May92,70789,84098,246-3.19.4
June99,03092,67199,764-6.47.7
July92,99583,72589,175-10.06.5
August92,44293,126 0.7
September93,24691,126 -2.3
October96,62493,165 -3.6
November88,15491,089 3.3
December86,74887,086 0.4
Year-to-date649,110613,546652,976-5.56.4
Annual1,106,3251,069,138 -3.4
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.  Percent change based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

(millions of current dollars)
View Table Data
Mode July 2016 July 2017 Percent Change July 2016-2017
All ModesImports44,59547,5536.6
Exports39,13141,6226.4
Total83,72589,1756.5
All Surface ModesImports39,06141,3385.8
Exports32,12133,5504.4
Total71,18174,8885.2
TruckImports27,82628,8513.7
Exports26,37827,5444.4
Total54,20456,3954.0
RailImports8,2948,5513.1
Exports4,5984,9146.9
Total12,89213,4654.4
PipelineImports2,9403,93633.9
Exports1,1451,092-4.7
Total4,0865,02823.1
VesselImports2,7583,19715.9
Exports2,3513,13733.4
Total5,1096,33424.0
AirImports1,4591,440-1.3
Exports1,9021,9995.1
Total3,3613,4382.3
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.  The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation.  For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataF....

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

(millions of current dollars)
View Table Data
Mode July 2016 July 2017 Percent Change July 2016-2017
All ModesImports21,56922,8926.1
Exports20,82721,8845.1
Total42,39644,7765.6
All Surface ModesImports18,80020,0216.5
Exports16,91917,6374.2
Total35,71937,6585.4
TruckImports11,58711,7891.7
Exports13,72514,1513.1
Total25,31225,9402.5
RailImports4,2904,3080.4
Exports2,3742,66912.4
Total6,6646,9774.7
PipelineImports2,9233,92434.2
Exports820817-0.4
Total3,7434,74126.7
VesselImports1,0061,25324.6
Exports55777438.9
Total1,5632,02729.7
AirImports910888-2.4
Exports1,1991,194-0.5
Total2,1092,082-1.3
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.  The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation.  For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataF....

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/

(millions of current dollars)
View Table Data
Mode July 2016 July 2017 Percent Change July 2016-2017
All ModesImports23,02624,6617.1
Exports18,30419,7387.8
Total41,33044,3997.4
All Surface ModesImports20,26021,3175.2
Exports15,20215,9134.7
Total35,46237,2305.0
TruckImports16,23917,0625.1
Exports12,65313,3935.8
Total28,89230,4555.4
RailImports4,0044,2436.0
Exports2,2232,2451.0
Total6,2286,4884.2
PipelineImports1712-29.6
Exports325275-15.4
Total342287-16.1
VesselImports1,7521,94411.0
Exports1,7942,36331.7
Total3,5464,30721.5
AirImports5485510.5
Exports70380514.5
Total1,2521,3568.4
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.  The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation.  For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataF....

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/