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U.S. roads support 107 million-plus vehicles

More than 107 million personal vehicles entered the United States in 2008, 28.7 million from Canada and 78.9 million from Mexico, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Additionally, 10.8 million trucks, 394,000 buses and 40,000 trains entered the U.S. in 2008.

BTS released the data today as part of the fifth-annual update of the North American Transportation Statistics (NATS) online database.

The NATS online database also includes data on U.S. trade and transportation with Canada and Mexico. Goods valued at more than $964 billion crossed the U.S. border in trade with Canada and Mexico in 2008, 6.1 percent higher than the previous record set in 2007, despite the economic downturn that began in the middle of the year.

U.S. merchandise trade with Canada and Mexico , its two largest trading partners, rose by more than $335 billion, or by 53.2 percent, in the five years between 2003 and 2008.

The value of freight shipments moving between the United States, Canada and Mexico grew at an average rate of nearly 8.9 percent per year between 2003 and 2008. The total value of U.S. freight shipments with Mexico grew 56 percent, or 9.3 percent, annually. Goods shipped in trade with Canada grew 51.5 percent, or 8.7 percent annually.

Trucks carried 58 percent of this freight measured by value — $554 billion in 2008. Rail carried 15 percent, followed by maritime with 10 percent, pipeline with 9 percent, and air with 4 percent. Pipeline was the largest modal increase in shipment value from 2007 to 2008 — $28 billion, followed by maritime, up $19 billion, and air, up $3 billion.

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