U.S. DOT RELEASES REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT MOVES
International freight accounted for more than 10 percent of the 16 billion tons of freight moved on the United States' transportation system in 2001, according to an annual report from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
More than 19 million containers were shipped in and out of the United States, six million by ocean vessels and 13 million by truck and rail, BTS said.
Ocean carriers transported 78 percent of the freight as measured by tonnage, but only 38 percent by value. Aviation cargo was less than 1 percent of U.S. international trade, but 28 percent of the value. Trucking carried 21 percent of freight by value.
Air freight activity dropped 13 percent in 2001, followed by trucking at 8 percent, maritime by 3 percent and rail 2 percent. The government's statistics echo similar trends reported by industry since 2001.
Almost 71 percent of the international freight tonnage in 2001 was from imports. The ratio of the value of U.S. imports and exports to Gross Domestic Product increased to 22 percent in 2001, up from 13 percent 11 years earlier. The trend highlights how international trade continues to play a growing role in the U.S. economy, according to BTS.
The deficit in transportation-related goods was more than $75 billion in 2001 due to a $100 million deficit in automobiles and parts that offset a $24 billion surplus in aircraft, spacecraft and parts in other transportation sectors.
For the fourth straight year, the United States has run a deficit in the value of transportation services as U.S. imports carried by foreign carriers increased and U.S. exports slowed due to the strong U.S. economy and dollar, BTS said.