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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

North American Transborder Freight up 16.0% in March 2021 from March 2020

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

BTS 36-21
BTS Contact: Dave Smallen
david.smallen@dot.gov

Transborder freight between the U.S. and North American countries (Canada and Mexico) in March 2021:

  • Total Transborder freight: $114.6 billion of transborder freight moved by all modes of transportation, up 19.5% compared to February 2021 and up 16.0% compared to March 2020. March 2021 Transborder freight was up 6.9% compared to $107.2 billion in March 2019.
  • Most-used mode: Trucks moved $73.9 billion of freight, up 24.3% compared to February 2021, up 18.1% compared to March 2020. Truck freight was up 9.7% compared to $67.4 billion in March 2019.
  • Second most-used mode: Railways moved $16.7 billion of freight, up 30.0% compared to February 2021, up 11.4% compared to March 2020. Rail freight was up 2.8% compared to $16.2 billion in March 2019.


Total Transborder Freight:

  • Compared to February 2021: 
    U.S.-Canada up 21.7%
    U.S.-Mexico up 17.4%
     
  • Compared to March 2020: 
    U.S.-Canada up 18.5%
    U.S.-Mexico up 13.5%
     
  • Compared to March 2019: 
    U.S.-Canada up 6.7%
    U.S.-Mexico up 7.0%

March 2020 was the first month in which the pandemic started affecting freight totals.


Truck Freight: $73.9 billion (64.5% of all transborder freight)

  • By border: 
    U.S.-Canada: $33.2 billion (57.6% of all northern border freight)
    U.S.-Mexico: $40.7 billion (71.5% of all southern border freight)
     
  • Compared to February 2021: 
    U.S.-Canada up 23.5%
    U.S.-Mexico up 24.9%
     
  • Compared to March 2020: 
    U.S.-Canada up 19.1%
    U.S.-Mexico up 17.2%
     
  • Top three busiest truck border ports (44.5% of total transborder truck freight)
    • Laredo, TX                          $17.5 billion 
    • Detroit, MI                           $ 9.8 billion
    • Port Huron, MI                    $5.5 billion
       
  • Top three truck commodities (47.5% of total transborder truck freight)
    • Computers and parts                $14.2 billion 
    • Electrical machinery                  $11.2 billion
    • Vehicles and parts                      $9.7 billion

Rail Freight: $16.7 billion (14.6% of all transborder freight)

  • By border: 
    U.S.-Canada: $9.4 billion (16.3% of all northern border freight)
    U.S.-Mexico: $7.3 billion (12.8% of all southern border freight)
     
  • Compared to February 2021: 
    U.S.-Canada up 29.6%
    U.S.-Mexico up 30.6%
     
  • Compared to March 2020: 
    U.S.-Canada up 18.5%
    U.S.-Mexico up 3.5%
     
  • Three busiest rail border ports (48.8% of total transborder rail freight)
    • Laredo, TX                 $3.5 billion 
    • Detroit, MI                $2.5 billion
    • Eagle Pass, TX               $2.2 billion
       
  • Top three rail commodities (58.5% of total transborder rail freight)
    • Motor vehicles and parts       $7.0 billion
    • Mineral fuels                           $1.6 billion
    • Wood and articles                    $1.1 billion

 

Total Transborder Freight by Mode:

U.S.-Canada (both directions)
(Dollars in Billions)
Truck:          $33.2 
Rail:            $9.4 
Pipeline:        $6.5     
Air:            $3.1 
Vessel:        $2.0             

U.S.-Mexico (both directions)
(Dollars in Billions)
Truck:          $40.7 
Rail:            $7.3 
Vessel:        $5.0     
Air:            $1.5 
Pipeline:      $0.9     

 

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 April TransBorder numbers for June 23.