North American Transborder Freight Data

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February 2017 North American Freight Numbers

Release Number: 
BTS 22-17
(Last 24 months)
Figure 1. U.S.-NAFTA Freight Value Percent Change from Previous Year (Last 24 months)
02/2015-4.3
03/2015-5.3
04/2015-6.8
05/2015-10.8
06/2015-3.8
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
Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

Download Tables

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $86.5 billion in current dollars as three major transportation modes – pipeline, vessel and rail – carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in February 2017 compared to February 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s EmEdjimurjE (BTS) (Figure 2, Table 1).                                                                                                         

The 2.9 percent rise from February 2016 was the fourth consecutive month in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year (Figure 1).

Freight by Mode

ModePercent Change
Truck-3.6
Rail7.0
Pipeline65.2
Vessel36.9
Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 65.2 percent, vessel by 36.9 percent, and rail by 7.0 percent. Air decreased by 1.6 percent and truck decreased by 3.6 percent (Figure 2, Table 2). The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by pipeline and vessel was largely due to a 76 percent increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil between February 2016 and February 2017.

The top commodity transported by truck in U.S.-NAFTA trade, computer related machinery and parts, was down in value by 10.7 percent from February 2016 to February 2017.

Trucks carried 63.2 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and continued to be the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $28.1 billion of the $47.2 billion of imports (59.7 percent) and $26.5 billion of the $39.3 billion of exports (67.4 percent) (Table 2).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 16.2 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by pipeline, 6.5 percent; vessel, 5.7 percent; and air, 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.9 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

U.S.-Canada Freight

ModePercent Change
Truck-2.2
Rail6.3
Pipeline69.7
Vessel1.2
Air-1.5
All Modes4.2
Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

From February 2016 to February 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 4.2 percent to $44.4 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 69.7 percent, rail by 6.3 percent, and vessel by 1.2 percent. Air decreased by 1.5 percent, and truck by 2.2 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved in pipeline reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year (Figure 3, Table 3).

Trucks carried 57.7 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.9 percent followed by pipeline, 12.0 percent; air, 4.5 percent; and vessel, 2.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 86.6 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 3).

U.S.-Mexico Freight

ModePercent Change
Truck-4.7
Rail7.8
Pipeline9.5
Vessel54.2
Air-1.8
All Modes1.5
Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

From February 2016 to February 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 1.5 percent to $42.1 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of commodities moved by vessel increased by 54.2 percent, pipeline by 9.5 percent, and rail by 7.8 percent. Air decreased by 1.8 percent, and truck by 4.7 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved by vessel reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year (Figure 4, Table 4).

Trucks carried 68.9 percent of the value of the freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 15.5 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico followed by vessel, 8.9 percent; air, 2.7 percent; and pipeline, 0.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.1 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 4).

Commodities

In February 2017, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by all modes was vehicles and parts, of which $4.9 billion, or 56.4 percent, moved by truck and $3.6 billion, or 41.3 percent, moved by rail (Figure 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by all modes in February 2017 was vehicles and parts, of which $3.8 billion or 47.9 percent moved by rail (Figure 6).

Reporting Notes

BTS press releases and the BTS website define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline. See  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, 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 . 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 . See for data from previous months, and for additional state, port, and commodity data. BTS has scheduled the release of February TransBorder numbers for May 25.

(millions of current dollars)
Month201520162017 Percent Change 2015-2016 Percent Change 2016-2017
January89,25882,43087,960-7.76.7
February85,72384,03886,474-2.02.9
March96,07090,462 -5.8
April93,32790,380 -3.2
May92,70789,840 -3.1
June99,03092,671 -6.4
July92,99583,725 -10.0
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-date174,982166,467174,435-4.94.8
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: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

(millions of current dollars)
Mode February 2016 February 2017 Percent Change February 2016-2017
All ModesImports45,01047,1754.8
Exports39,02839,2990.7
Total84,03886,4742.9
All Surface ModesImports40,45941,8733.5
Exports32,66732,364-0.9
Total73,12674,2381.5
TruckImports29,30128,140-4.0
Exports27,32726,474-3.1
Total56,62954,613-3.6
RailImports8,5479,43510.4
Exports4,5564,5810.6
Total13,10314,0177.0
PipelineImports2,6114,29864.6
Exports7841,30967.1
Total3,3955,60865.2
VesselImports1,9172,61336.3
Exports1,6752,30737.7
Total3,5934,92036.9
AirImports1,4231,341-5.7
Exports1,7891,8201.7
Total3,2123,161-1.6
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: .

Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

(millions of current dollars)
Mode February 2016 February 2017 Percent Change February 2016-2017
All ModesImports21,81823,2656.6
Exports20,80121,1521.7
Total42,62044,4184.2
All Surface ModesImports19,47120,9227.4
Exports16,93617,5393.6
Total36,40838,4615.6
TruckImports12,07111,602-3.9
Exports14,13014,018-0.8
Total26,20125,620-2.2
RailImports4,8085,0354.7
Exports2,2612,4789.6
Total7,0687,5136.3
PipelineImports2,5934,28565.3
Exports5461,04291.1
Total3,1385,32769.7
VesselImports73892825.8
Exports433258-40.5
Total1,1711,1851.2
AirImports893852-4.6
Exports1,1471,1580.9
Total2,0412,010-1.5
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: .

Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

(billions of current dollars)
ModeCommoditiesExportsImportsTotal
All Modes Vehicles and Parts4.04.78.7
Truck Vehicles and Parts2.42.54.9
Rail Vehicles and Parts1.42.23.6
Pipeline Mineral Fuels1.04.35.3
Vessel Mineral Fuels0.20.70.9
Air Electrical Machinery0.30.10.4
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.

Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

(millions of current dollars)
Mode February 2016 February 2017 Percent Change February 2016-2017
All ModesImports23,19223,9103.1
Exports18,22618,147-0.4
Total41,41842,0571.5
All Surface ModesImports20,98820,951-0.2
Exports15,73114,826-5.8
Total36,71835,777-2.6
TruckImports17,23016,537-4.0
Exports13,19712,456-5.6
Total30,42828,993-4.7
RailImports3,7394,40017.7
Exports2,2952,103-8.4
Total6,0356,5037.8
PipelineImports1814-24.4
Exports23826712.1
Total2562819.5
VesselImports1,1801,68542.9
Exports1,2422,04965.0
Total2,4223,73554.2
AirImports529489-7.7
Exports6426623.0
Total1,1721,151-1.8
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: .

Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

(billions of current dollars)
ModeCommoditiesExportsImportsTotal
All Modes Vehicles and Parts1.66.47.9
Truck Electrical Machinery2.84.37.1
Rail Vehicles and Parts0.53.33.8
Pipeline Mineral Fuels0.30.00.3
Notes: 

Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.

Source: 

EmEdjimurjE, TransBorder Freight Data,

Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017
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