North American Transborder Freight Data: Data Fields

Table Structure and Data Fields for Raw Data Time Series

Table Structure

January 2007 - Present

Note:  Beginning in January 2007, BTS restructured the North American Transborder data files to simplify the table structure and improve usability of the data. 

The following changes have been made:

  • Import and Export tables have been combined and are identified by a new data field "TRDTYPE"
  • Canada and Mexico tables have been combined and are identified by a new data field "COUNTRY"
  • Land mode tables that were previously separate from air and vessel tables have been combined and now all modes of transportation are covered by the data field "DISAGMOT"

Additionally, a new combination of data fields allows data users to access commodity and port information simultaneously.

For a detailed understating of major reporting changes see Major Changes on the main North American Transborder web page.

January 2004 - December 2006

Land modes

Air and Vessel

January 2003 - December 2003

April 1994 – December 2002

Data Fields

The following are descriptions for each of the data fields used in the raw data tables listed above.  Despite changes to the table structures throughout the time series many of the data fields remain the same.   As a result of the combined tables in 2007, there are several new data fields that are primarily a combination of two individual data fields.  For example, "DESTATE" and "ORSTATE" have been replaced by the common field "USASTATE".

DISAGMOT - Mode of transportation
This field identifies the mode of transportation for shipments entering and exiting the United States.  The specific mode of transportation codes are listed below, followed by definitions for mail, other, and foreign trade zones:

(1) Vessel (added in 2004)
(3) Air (added in 2004)
(4) Mail
(5) Truck
(6) Rail
(7) Pipeline
(8) Other and unknown
(9) Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs – added April 1995)

 "Mail" represents U.S. Postal Service and courier shipments, and cannot be further subdivided into a mode such as, air, rail, or truck.

"Other and unknown", includes flyaway aircraft, that is aircraft moving under their own power from the aircraft manufacturer to a customer and not carrying any freight, powerhouse (electricity), vessels moving under their own power, pedestrians carrying freight, unknown, and miscellaneous other. 

The actual mode of transportation is not available for imports into FTZs, and therefore they were included as MOT "Other," prior to April 1995.   In April 1995, as the result of inquiries from users, the mode of transport, foreign trade zones (or DISAGMOT 9) were added after a Census investigation.   Although FTZ is being treated as a mode of transportation in this dataset, the actual mode for a specific shipment into or out of a foreign trade zone is unknown because Customs does not collect this information.

CONTCODE - Container Code
This field differentiates between containerized and non-containerized cargo.  Containerized shipments are designated by a "1" in the CONTCODE field.  When the CONTCODE is blank, the shipment was reported as non-containerized.  Customs collects container information for truck and rail shipments but not for the other surface modes of transportation. According to Census, an X means that it is not known whether a shipment is containerized or not. The Xs apply to U.S. exports to Canada. A 0 means that the shipment is not containerized and a 1 means that the shipment is containerized.

COMMODITY - Commodity Code (Added in 2007 to replace TSUSA / SCH_B)
This new field identifies commodity traded between the United States and Canada and Mexico at the two-digit level.  This commodity codes are also based on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States of America (HTSUSA). 

TSUSA / SCH_B - Commodity Code (April 1994 – December 2006)
This field identifies commodity traded between the United States and Canada and Mexico at the two-digit level.  For imports, the commodity codes are based on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States of America (HTSUSA).  For exports, the commodity codes are based on the Schedule B classification system.  Both classification systems are based on the International Harmonized System (HS) and therefore, at the two-digit level, the import and export codes are essentially the same.

 CANPROV – Canadian Province (Added in 2007 to replace PROV)
This new data field represents the Canadian province where Canadian Customs cleared the traded merchandise, and is not necessarily the province of final origin or destination.  Statistics Canada compiles this data field as part of their merchandise import and export trade program. 

PROV – Canadian Province (April 1994 – December 2006)
This old data field represents the Canadian province where Canadian Customs cleared the traded merchandise, and is not necessarily the province of final origin or destination.  Statistics Canada compiled this data field as part of their merchandise import and export trade program. 

MEXSTATE - Mexican State (Available for export data only)
This field identifies the state of destination for U.S. exports to Mexico. Census compiles this data field for the Mexican state of destination (or MEXSTATE) from the ultimate consignee's address.  If a Mexican state of destination cannot be identified for a particular shipment, it is considered unknown and coded as "OT" in the data field.

USASTATE - U.S. State (Added in 2007 to replace "DESTATE" & "ORSTATE")
This new data field identifies the U.S. state of origin for exports to or state of destination for import from Canada and/or Mexico.  The state may not always represent the physical origin or destination of the import or export goods, since the exporters or importer’s address may not necessarily be the same state as the origin or destination of the goods.  

ORSTATE - U.S. State of Origin (April 1994 – December 2006)
This old data field identified the U.S. state of origin for exports from the United States to Canada or Mexico.

DESTATE - U.S. State of Destination (April 1994 – December 2006)
This old data field identified the U.S. state of destination for imports from Canada or Mexico.  The U.S. state of destination is taken from the importer's address.  The importer of record for Customs purposes is the party responsible for paying the duties. The state may not always represent the physical destination of the import goods, since the importer’s address may not necessarily be the same state as the destination of the goods.  When state codes are missing or invalid, DU? (Destination Unknown) is assigned to indicate that the field is unknown.

DEPE - District and Port of Entry and Exit
This field identifies the Customs port where the entry or exit documentation was filed with Customs and the duties paid.  It may not always reflect the port where the shipment physically crossed the border to or from the United States. This is because, under current Customs regulations, importers or exporters may file import documentation at one port while the shipment actually enters at another port.

The Canadian and Mexican border customs districts include all public ports.  Some additional non-border or inland ports are identified separately.  Non-border ports with low activity are combined at their parent Customs district and reported by an "XX" (i.e., 35XX).

Census also uses pre-selected port codes for certain types of shipments.  For imports there are two pre-selected port codes included in this dataset.  Port code 70XX is the Census code used for low value shipments for which Customs allows importers to file informal entries which lack port information.  Port code 60XX covers vessels moving under their own power.  Both 70XX and 60XX are included in this dataset as "other" mode of transport (DISAGMOT 8).

COUNTRY – Trading Partner Country
This field represents the country of origin or destination, that is, the country where the merchandise was grown, manufactured or otherwise produced or the country to which it is being exported.  The country field in this dataset is either Canada or Mexico.  The codes are derived from the International Statistical Organization (ISO) list of countries. 

VALUE - Value of Merchandise
This data field refers to the Customs value or the value of merchandise for duty purposes.  For imports, the value is usually the selling price actually paid or payable for the goods in the foreign country of origin.  It excludes freight costs, insurance and other charges incurred in bringing the merchandise from the foreign port of export to the United States.  For exports, the value is on free alongside ship (f.a.s) basis. 
F.A.S. value - is the value of exports at the U.S. seaport, airport, or border port of exportation, based on the transaction price including inland freight, insurance, and other charges incurred in placing the merchandise alongside the carrier at the U.S. port of export.

The use of Canada's import data to produce U.S. export data requires some adjustments to make the two comparable. U.S. exports are valued at the U.S. seaport, airport, or border port of export in the U.S. and include inland freight charges. Canadian imports are valued at the point of origin in the U.S. and do not include inland freight to the U.S. port of exit. To compensate, Canada adds an estimated 4.5 percent of the value to each transaction to cover inland freight (except for shipments where freight is not a consideration, e.g., large aircraft, vessels and drilling platforms.)

CHARGES  - Charges (For Imports Data Only)
Note that starting from 2007, a single data field represents both "charges" (for imports) and "freight" (for exports).  In the new database structure described above for table 1, table 2, and table 3, BTS provides "charges" for data extracts on imports and "freight" for data extracts on exports. 
For imports, charges represent the aggregate cost of all freight, insurance, and other charges (excluding U.S. import duties) incurred in bringing the merchandise from alongside the carrier at ports in Canada or Mexico and placing it alongside the carrier at the first port of entry in the United States.  In the case of overland shipments originating in Canada or Mexico, such costs include freight, insurance, and all other charges, costs and expenses incurred in bringing the merchandise from the point of origin (where the merchandise begins its journey to the United States) in Canada or Mexico to the first port of entry.

FREIGHT - Freight (For Exports Data only)
Note that starting from 2007, a single data field represents both "freight" (for exports) and "charges" (for imports).  In the new database structure described above for table 1, table 2, and table 3, BTS provides "freight" for data extracts on exports and "charges" for data extracts on imports. 

For exports, "freight" represents the total cost/charges for transporting the goods from the place of direct shipment in the United States to the consignee in Canada.  Statistics Canada supplies this information for Canadian data only as part of the Data Exchange Program.  Information on the cost of moving U.S. exports via Mexican entry ports to the shipment’s ultimate physical destination in Mexico is not known.

SHIPWT - Shipping Weight
This data field represents the gross weight in kilograms of shipments, including the weight of moisture content, wrappings, crates, boxes, and containers (other than cargo vans and similar substantial outer containers).
Historically, shipping weight information from the Census Bureau has been available for shipments by vessel and air only.  However, in the North American Transborder, shipment weight is available for all import modes. For exports, shipping weight is not currently available all modes for Canada and Mexico. Currently here is what is available:

Imports:

  • Trade with Canada – weight data available for all modes – truck, rail, air, and vessel
  • Trade with Mexico – weight data available for all modes – truck, rail, air, and vessel

Exports:

  • Trade with Canada – weight data available for air and vessel, weight for surface modes not available
  • Trade with Mexico – weight data available for air and vessel, weight for surface modes not available

STATMOYR - Statistical Month
This field indicates the month and year the data were reflected in the published statistics, generally the month and year when the goods entered or exited the United States.

STATMO - Statistical Month (Added in 2007 to replace STATMOYR)
This data field represents the month for imports and exports.  For imports, it is the month in which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection releases the merchandise to the importer. For exports, it is based on the date when the merchandise leaves the United States. (For vessel or air shipments, it is the date when the carrier departs or is cleared from the port of export.)

STATYR - Statistical Year – (Added in 2007 to replace STATMOYR)
This data field represents the calendar year for imports and exports.  For imports, it is the year in which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection releases the merchandise to the importer. For exports, it is based on the date/year when the merchandise leaves the United States. (For vessel or air shipments, it is the date/year when the carrier departs or is cleared from the port of export.)

COUNT - Record Count
This field represents summary record counts by the Census Bureau and Customs and Border Protection.  Record count does not indicate the number of shipments or the number of trucks or rail cars, and should not be used as a proxy for these.  Record count was an individual field in this dataset between April 1993 and December 1996 data months.  It reflected the number of individual records in a summarized line of data.  Detailed record count information was removed from the dataset beginning with the January 1997 data.  A summary of record counts are now presented by country, direction of trade and mode of transportation.