Posts Tagged ‘ports’

What is the Value of US Trade by Mode and Direction – or what mode really matters??

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Given the concerns over the role of international trade, one could easily assume that trade moves either by air, vessels or simply crossing the border to our NAFTA partners. In some regards, trade depends upon all these gateways and trade corridors. The table does not have tonnage, as not all cargoes have a reported tonnage (especially in the other category). The modes are defined as air, a product that passed through an airport, Water passed through a maritime port, while other refers to cargo that either passed through a surface mode to Canada and Mexico (truck, rail or pipeline) or other products that traveled under their own power (like airplanes).

While total trade for the US grew over the period, Maritime trade actually captured some market share from other modes, mostly air cargo. This shift occurred after the recession, as some companies switched from the relatively more expensive air services to water shipments.

Total US Trade, By Gateway Mode, 2010-2012

 

 

In Billions of US Dollars (nominal)

 

Share of US Trade by Mode

2010

2011

2012

 

2010

2011

2012

Exports

Total

1,278

1,480

1,546

 

100%

100%

100%

Air

393

424

427

 

31%

29%

28%

Water

455

571

592

 

36%

39%

38%

Other

430

486

527

 

34%

33%

34%

 

 

 

 

Imports

Total

1,913

2,208

2,275

 

100%

100%

100%

Air

444

495

500

 

23%

22%

22%

Water

979

1,159

1,190

 

51%

52%

52%

Other

490

554

585

 

26%

25%

26%

 

 

 

 

Total

Total

3,191

3,688

3,821

 

100%

100%

100%

Air

837

919

927

 

26%

25%

24%

Water

1,434

1,730

1,782

 

45%

47%

47%

Other

920

1,040

1,112

 

29%

28%

29%

For the ITTS member States, the share looks slightly different. Given the lack of border trade with Canada and Mexico, trade through ITTS Member state gateways handle larger volumes of air and maritime shipments. (The majority of shipments in the other category include industrial and electrical machinery, and aircraft and parts.)

Total ITTS Trade, By Gateway Mode, 2010-2012

 

 

In Billions of US Dollars (nominal)

 

Share of ITTS Trade by Mode

 2010

2011

2012

2010

2011

2012

Exports

Total

182

218

237

100%

100%

100%

Air

48

53

56

26%

24%

24%

Water

102

129

141

56%

59%

59%

Other

32

36

40

18%

17%

17%

Imports

Total

256

300

313

100%

100%

100%

Air

53

53

58

21%

18%

19%

Water

173

214

220

68%

71%

70%

Other

30

33

34

12%

11%

11%

Total

Total

438

518

550

100%

100%

100%

Air

101

106

114

23%

20%

21%

Water

275

343

361

63%

66%

66%

Other

62

69

74

14%

13%

13%

In sum, to think about imports and exports without the connection to gateways (There is a great American Association of Port Authorities infographic here!!) is really not doing educating people as to the importance of transportation to trade.  And for the eight ITTS member states, which handle roughly 14% of the US trade (including 20% of the maritime trade and 12% of the international air trade), such trade provides critical jobs.

Source:  All data were compiled from the WISERTrade.  Tonnage information are not included for all variables, so were not included, and there are some differences in the column totals due to rounding differences.



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