North American Transborder Freight Data

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October 2012 U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico Totaled $85.3 Billion

PDF: bts001_13.pdf | Excel: bts001_13.xls

Figure 1: Trade Among the U.S. and NAFTA Countries, January 2004-October 2012
Unadjusted and Adjusted for Inflation and Exchange Rate Fluctuations

Excel: bts001_13_figure_01.xls

Figure 1: Trade Among the U.S. and NAFTA Countries, January 2004-October 2012

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,
U.S. export data adjusted based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), . U.S. imports adjusted based on BLS , January 2004 = 100.  See Technical Note in press release text.

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, rose 7.9 percent in October 2012 compared to October 2011, totaling $85.3 billion, unadjusted for inflation (Table 1 and Figure 1), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the October 2012 total was $61.7 billion in 2004 dollars, up 7.6 percent from October 2011.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the October 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade in current dollars with Canada and Mexico rose 38.9 percent from October 2009, shortly after the end of the last recession (Table 3). Only figure 1 in the press release is adjusted for inflation and exchange rate fluctuations.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in October increased by 71.8 percent compared to October 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in October were up 60.1 percent since October 2002, while exports were up 87.2 percent (Figure 2 and Table 3).  See Transborder Press Releases for historical data.

Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, other modes of transport, and goods moving into Foreign Trade Zones.  In October, 86.5 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 9.5 percent moved by vessel, and 4.0 percent moved by air (Figure 2).

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, October 2012

bts001_13_figure_02.xls

Figure 2: North American Freight by Mode, October 2012

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico increased 9.8 percent in October 2012 from September 2012 (Table 2). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations, the number of days in each month, and other factors.

Figure 3: U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico, Month of October 1995-2012
Unadjusted for Inflation and Exchange Rate Fluctuations

bts001_13_figure_03.xls

Figure 3: U.S. Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico, Month of October 1995-2012

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

U.S.-Mexico October 2012 trade reached $36.9 billion, a 13.1 percent increase from October 2011, while U.S.-Canada trade was $48.4 billion, a 4.3 percent increase.  For trade statistics by mode, see Table 4 for Canada and Table 6 for Mexico.

In October, Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.8 billion in current dollars (Table 5).  The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in October was vehicles, valued at $9.8 billion in current dollars (Table 8). 

Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $13.6 billion in current dollars.  The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by surface modes of transportation in October was electrical machinery with $8.2 billion in trade in current dollars (Table 9).

Technical Note: The BLS indexes used in the adjustments for inflation and exchange rates may be revised in each of the three months after original publication.  For example, index values released in January 2012 were subject to revision in February, March and April of that year.

For more information, see Transborder Press Releases for previous press releases and summary tables. See for data from previous months, and individual state data.  BTS has scheduled the release of November 2012 TransBorder numbers for Jan. 31.

Table 1. Value of Monthly U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico

(millions of current dollars)

Month201020112012Percent Change 2010-2011Percent Change 2011-2012
January56,69767,73475,53419.511.5
February59,49266,53478,13511.817.4
March69,94380,82285,82715.66.2
April65,83173,76779,78412.18.2
May66,80577,31883,77015.78.3
June69,85977,52182,60111.06.6
July61,26072,36375,69418.14.6
August67,96480,40682,48018.32.6
September68,32477,72577,68013.8-0.1
October70,56579,04085,29012.07.9
November68,06076,672 12.7 
December66,53074,230 11.6 
Year-to-date656,740753,230806,79614.77.1
Annual791,329904,133 14.3 

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTE: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.  Percent Changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 2. U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico by Surface Modes of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode October 2011September 2012October 2012Percent Change September 2012 - October 2012Percent Change October 2011 - 2012
All Surface ModesImports42,26541,23845,1329.46.8
Exports36,77536,44240,15810.29.2
Total79,04077,68085,2909.87.9
TruckImports26,74625,52328,63512.27.1
Exports28,34527,64730,89611.79.0
RailImports8,8008,9799,4935.77.9
Exports5,0355,0525,3766.46.8
PipelineImports5,3634,9775,62613.04.9
Exports740988909-8.022.8

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent Changes based on numbers prior to rounding.  The value of trade for all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline 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:

Table 3. October 2012 Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico Compared with October of Prior Years

Unadjusted for Inflation and Exchange Rate Fluctuations

Compared to October in...Percent Change
ImportsExportsTotal Surface Trade
20116.89.27.9
201020.421.420.9
200936.341.938.9
200813.122.517.3
20077.524.414.9
200618.938.927.6
200521.349.933.3
200438.565.349.9
200351.278.462.9
200260.187.271.8

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

Table 4. U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

(millions of current dollars)

Mode October 2011September 2012October 2012Percent Change September 2012 - October 2012Percent Change October 2011- 2012
All Surface ModesImports24,18723,57225,1356.63.9
Exports22,25922,12023,2845.34.6
Total46,44545,69248,4196.04.3
TruckImports11,94311,29412,3669.53.5
Exports16,94916,59817,7697.14.8
RailImports5,8465,8566,1354.85.0
Exports2,8092,8042,8310.90.8
PipelineImports5,3414,9645,62513.35.3
Exports494695512-26.33.7

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent Changes based on numbers prior to rounding.  The value of trade for all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline 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:

Table 5. Top 10 States Trading with Canada by All Surface Modes of Transportation

Ranked by October 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of current dollars)

StateOctober 2011October 2012Percent Change October 2011-2012
ValueRankValueRank
 Michigan5,70116,754118.5
 Illinois4,39024,63625.6
 California3,26633,31831.6
 Ohio2,94142,8994-1.5
 Texas2,85752,7485-3.8
 New York2,46262,3586-4.2
 Pennsylvania1,87871,93673.1
 Washington1,60081,809813.0
 Minnesota1,51791,706912.5
 Indiana1,508101,647109.2

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.  Percent Changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 6. U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

(millions of current dollars)

Mode October 2011September 2012October 2012Percent Change September 2012 – October 2012Percent Change October 2011 - 2012
All Surface ModesImports18,07917,66719,99713.210.6
Exports14,51614,32216,87417.816.2
Total32,59531,98936,87115.313.1
TruckImports14,80314,22916,26914.39.9
Exports11,39611,04913,12718.815.2
RailImports2,9553,1233,3577.513.6
Exports2,2262,2482,54613.214.4
PipelineImports23132-88.0-92.9
Exports24629339735.561.1

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent Changes based on numbers prior to rounding.  The value of trade for all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline 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:

Table 7. Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by All Surface Modes of Transportation

Ranked by October 2012 Surface Trade Value

(millions of current dollars)

StateOctober 2011October 2012Percent Change October 2011-2012
ValueRankValueRank
 Texas11,322113,590120.0
 California5,16025,27722.3
 Michigan3,77034,393316.6
 Illinois1,03141,295425.7
 Arizona8785983512.1
 Ohio8366954614.1
 Tennessee7287808711.0
 Indiana584862186.4
 North Carolina5249582911.2
 Georgia429115041017.4

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTE: Percent Changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 8. Top Five Commodities Transported between the U.S. and Canada by All Surface Modes of Transportation, October 2012

(millions of current dollars)

CommoditiesExportsImportsTotal
Vehicles Other than Railway4,3455,4559,800
Oil and Gas1,0786,9007,978
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts3,7921,6295,421
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts2,1035252,627
Plastics1,0558431,899

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTE: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

Table 9. Top Five Commodities Transported between the U.S. and Mexico by All Surface Modes of Transportation, October 2012

(millions of current dollars)

CommoditiesExportsImportsTotal
Electrical Machinery; Equipment and Parts2,9005,2738,173
Computer-Related Machinery and Parts3,2603,4316,691
Vehicles Other than Railway1,8124,6716,483
Plastics1,2973201,616
Measuring and Testing Instruments4569011,357

SOURCE: BTS TransBorder Freight Data,

NOTE: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

Updated: Sunday, December 10, 2017
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