United States Transportation - 2023


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National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 99 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 7,249

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 889.022 million (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 42,985,300,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix



13,513 (2022)

note - 24.5% of airports are public

Airports - with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


6,092 (2022)


1,984,321 km natural gas, 240,711 km petroleum products (2013)


total: 293,564.2 km (2014)

standard gauge: 293,564.2 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge


total: 6,586,610 km (2012)

paved: 4,304,715 km (2012) (includes 76,334 km of expressways)

unpaved: 2,281,895 km (2012)


41,009 km (2012) (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada)

Merchant marine

total: 178 (2022)

by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 61, general cargo 19, oil tanker 65, other (roll on/roll off 29) (2022)

note - oceangoing self-propelled, cargo-carrying vessels of 1,000 gross tons and above

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s):
Atlantic Ocean:
Charleston, Hampton Roads, New York/New Jersey, Savannah
Pacific Ocean: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle/Tacoma
Gulf of Mexico: Houston

oil terminal(s): LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal

container port(s) (TEUs): Charleston (2,751,442), Hampton Roads (3,522,834), Houston (3,453,220), Long Beach (9,384,368), Los Angeles (10,677,610), New York/New Jersey (8,985,929), Oakland (2,448,243), Savannah (5,613,163), Seattle/Tacoma (3,736,206) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Calcasieu Pass (LA), Cameron (LA), Corpus Christi (TX), Cove Point (MD), Elba Island (GA), Freeport (TX), Sabine Pass (LA)
note - two additional export facilities are under construction and expected to begin commercial operations in 2023-2024

LNG terminal(s) (import): Cove Point (MD), Elba Island (GA), Everett (MA), Freeport (TX), Golden Pass (TX), Hackberry (LA), Lake Charles (LA), Neptune (offshore), Northeast Gateway (offshore), Pascagoula (MS), Sabine Pass (TX)

river port(s): Baton Rouge, Plaquemines, New Orleans (Mississippi River)

cargo ports: Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines (LA), Tampa, Texas City

cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Seattle, Long Beach

Night view the port of Savannah, Georgia. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard.:View of the port of Charleston, South Carolina. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard.:View of the port of Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of US Coast Guard.:View of the port of Long Beach, California. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard.:An aerial view of the Golden Pass LNG export terminal at Port Arthur, Texas. Photo courtesy of US Coast Guard.:A view of a liquified natural gas (LNG) carrier docking at the Cove Point, Maryland LNG terminal. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard.:The Marvel Crane, the first liquid natural gas carrier to transport natural gas from the Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard.:

Transportation - note

the US operates one PC 1 or 2 class heavy icebreaker, two PC 3 or 4 class medium icebreakers, and two PC 5 or 6 class light icebreakers; the heavy and medium icebreakers carry out various polar missions including opening passage for the annual resupply of McMurdo Station in Antarctica
note - PC indicates a Polar Class vessel: PC 1 - year-round operation in all polar waters (ice thickness >3 m); PC 2 - year-round operation in moderate multi-year ice conditions (ice thickness up to 3 m); PC 3 - year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multi-year ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 2.5 m); PC 4 - year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 120 cm); PC 5 - year-round operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 70-120 cm); PC 6 -  summer/autumn operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 30-70 cm)

The US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star enroute to the McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 15 January 2017.:US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) sits hove-to ice on the frozen Ross Sea, Antarctica, on 6 January 2022.:US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, St. John's Bay, Newfoundland 4 June 2000:US Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20) approaches the pier at Base Seattle on Saturday 20 November 2021.:US Coast Guard Cutter Healy (right) meets up with Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St. Laurent in the Arctic Ocean on 25 September 2008.:

NOTE: The information regarding United States on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United States 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United States 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.