17.2. Recommendation. Availability of trade data by mode of transport (MoT) is very important for many purposes, including monitoring international transport routes, formulating transportation policy, assessing the impact of trade on the environment and conducting other analytical efforts. In this context, IMTS 2010 (para. 7.1) recommends that:
(a) Countries compile and disseminate international merchandise trade statistics by mode of transport at the most detailed commodity level (as a separate data dimension),
(b) The mode of transport that should be recorded is the means of transport used when goods enter or leave the economic territory of a country.
It is a good practice to describe any diversions from these recommendations in the country’s metadata.
17.3. Mode of transport and means of transport. For the purposes of international merchandise trade statistics, mode of transport is understood to be the method of transport used for the carriage of goods. It is a specific solution which makes use of a particular type of means of transportation such as aircraft, vehicle, vessel or other device used for the transport of goods or persons. The transport of a person or of cargo may involve one mode or several modes of transport, with the latter case being called multimodal transport. Each mode has its advantages and disadvantages, and will be chosen by traders on the basis of cost, capacity, route and speed.
17.4. Classification of mode of transport for use in the compilation and reporting of the trade statistics. To allow international comparability to the best possible extent, IMTS 2010 (para. 7.2) provides a classification for use in the compilation and reporting of MoT trade statistics which is reproduced below.
2.2 Inland waterway
4. Not elsewhere classified
4.1 Pipelines and cables
4.2 Postal consignments, mail or courier shipments
4.3 Self-propelled goods
 See Sect. V.A of Economic Commission forEurope document TRADE/CEFACT/2001/19 of 15 January 2001, entitled “Recommendation No. 19 (second edition): Codes for modes of transport”, submitted to the Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) for approval.
 Breakdown of the category 4.1 into 4.1.1 Pipelines and 4.1.2 Cables can be applied if countries find it desirable and feasible.