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North American Transborder Freight Data

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May 2020 North American Transborder Freight Down 49% from May 2019

Release Number: 
BTS 49-20
Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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

Total Transborder freight: $56.1 billion of transborder freight moved by all modes of transportation, down 48.9% compared to May 2019. The $56.1 billion in total Transborder freight was the lowest amount since May 2009.

  • Most-used mode: Trucks moved $39.1 billion of freight, down 43.2% compared to May 2019.
  • Second most-used mode: Railways moved $5.5 billion of freight, down 66.3% compared to May 2019.
  • Transborder freight value in May was down 3.5% from April and down 43.3% from March.

Total Transborder Freight:

  • Compared to May 2019:
U.S.-Canada down 44.4%
U.S.-Mexico down 53.5%

Truck Freight: $39.1 billion (69.8% of all transborder freight)

  • By border:
U.S.-Canada: $19.6 billion (63.7% of all northern border freight)
U.S.-Mexico: $19.6 billion (77.2% of all southern border freight)
  • Compared to May 2019:
U.S.-Canada down 35.6%
U.S.-Mexico down 49.2%
  • Top Three Busiest truck border ports (40.5% of total transborder truck freight)
    • Laredo, TX                                    $7.7 billion
    • Detroit, MI                                    $4.9 billion
    • Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY                $3.3 billion
  • Top three truck commodities (39.2% of total transborder truck freight)
    • Computers and parts                    $7.5  billion
    • Electrical machinery                   $5.6  billion
    • Vehicles and parts                        $2.2  billion
(Dollars in Billions)
ModeValue
Truck 39.1
Rail 5.5
Vessel 3.1
Pipeline 2.3
Air 3.2
Source: 

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

Rail Freight: $5.5 billion (9.8% of all transborder freight)

  • By border:
U.S.-Canada: $3.4 billion (11.2% of all northern border freight)
U.S.-Mexico: $2.0 billion (8.1% of all southern border freight)
  • Compared to May 2019:
U.S.-Canada down 60.9%
U.S.-Mexico down 72.6%
  • Three busiest rail border ports (44.1% of total transborder rail freight)
    • Laredo, TX                             $1.0 billion
    • Port Huron, MI                        $0.8 billion
    • Eagle Pass, TX                        $0.6 billion
  • Top three rail commodities (26.2% of total transborder rail freight)
    • Plastics                                    $0.6 billion
    • Motor vehicles and parts            $0.5 billion
    • Mineral fuels                             $0.4 billion

Total Transborder Freight by Mode:

U.S.-Canada (both directions)
(Dollars in Billions)
Truck:                 $19.6
Rail:                    $3.4
Air:                     $2.4
Pipeline:              $2.0
Vessel:                $1.2            
 
U.S.-Mexico (both directions)
(Dollars in Billions)
Truck:                 $19.6
Rail:                    $2.0
Vessel:                $1.9
Air:                     $0.8
Pipeline:              $0.3

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 June TransBorder numbers for Aug. 25.

Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020