Fleet Management

Freight Movements Between U.S. & NAFTA Countries Mixed, Trucking Still Dominates

May 29, 2013

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A new U.S. Transportation Department report shows the value of goods moving between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners by all modes of transportation decreased by 4% in March compared to a year ago, but rose 63.7% compared to March 2009.

Freight flows on all modes of transportation increased 8% from the month before. Freight moving across the border by truck increased by 9.7%, while freight moving by rail increased by 17% from February.

Trucks carried 60% of the $95.6 billion of freight moved in March 2013 between the United States and Canada and Mexico, followed by rail at 16.5%, vessels at 8.1%, pipelines at 7.0% and air at 3.7%.

For freight flows between the U.S. and Canada, trucks carried 55.1% of the $54.3 billion, followed by rail at 17.9%, pipelines at 11.6%, vessels at 4.6% and air at 4.4%.

With Mexico, trucks carried 66.5% of the $41.2 billion, followed by rail at 14.8%, vessel at 12.7%, air at 2.7% and pipelines at 0.8%.   

In March, Michigan led all states in goods transported to and from Canada, at $6.5 billion. Washington had the largest year-to-year percentage increase among the top 10 states, at 25.6%, while Illinois had the largest year-to-year decrease at 16.0%.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada in March was vehicles (other than railway) moved by truck, valued at $6.0 billion, of which $3.6 billion was exported.

Texas continued to lead all states in goods transported to and from Mexico by all modes of transportation at $15.7 billion. Louisiana had the largest year-to-year percentage increase among the top 10 states, at 25.0% while California had the largest year-to-year decrease at 11.7%.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in March was electrical machinery moved by truck, valued at $7 billion, of which $4.4 billion was imported.

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