About Ports and Cargo Data

Cargo unloading, Oakland, Ca. Data for NOEP's Ports and Cargo section are extracted from the import and export "Port" data series produced by the Foreign Trade Division of the US Census Bureau. The collection and publication of U.S. foreign commerce and trade statistics has been the responsibility of the Department of Commerce since 1905 and is assigned to the Census Bureau.

Data on most US exports are controlled and collected by the Census Bureau. Exceptions are made for exports to Canada, which are represented by agreement from Canadian import data, and for defense military and certain foreign aid shipments and pass through shipments, which are not included in the data. Export data contain the codes for the originating port, the final destination country, and the trade good or commodity, and the weights and dollar values for each type of shipment (air, vessel, and container).

Import data are collected and compiled by the Census Bureau from the US Customs Service systems for most shipments to the US. Exceptions are made for returns of military and other government agency goods and supplies, monetary gold and silver, monetary coinage, and shipments en-route to other countries. The import data include codes for the receiving port, the originating country, and the commodity, and the cargo weights and dollar values by type of shipment.

NOEP filters these data to include only marine based shipments and summarizes them by year, port, and major commodity categories. The summarized data, from 1997 to the most current year, are made available on this website. These can be queried from our database by year, state, and port. Additional query options include country of origin or destination and major cargo type.

updated 21-Oct-2013