Fleet Management

Cross-Border Truck Freight Rises in January

April 06, 2015

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Percent change in value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by mode, January 2014 - January 2015. Graphic: U.S. DOT
Percent change in value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by mode, January 2014 - January 2015. Graphic: U.S. DOT

The amount of freight moved between the U.S. and its North American Free Trade Agreement neighbors of Canada and Mexico totaled $89.3 billion in January, according to U.S. Transportation Department figures, down 1.2% from a year earlier. Rail, truck, and air all carried more freight.

The value of freight flows between the U.S. and its neighbors by all modes decreased, as the value of cross-border trade by pipeline and vessel declined in January due to the reduced prices of mineral fuel shipments.

However, compared to a year earlier, the value of commodities moving by rail in January grew by 4.8%, the largest percentage of any mode. Truck freight increased by 3.6% and air rose by 1.3%. Vessel freight dropped 21.8% and pipeline freight fell 22.5%

Trucks carried 62.3% of U.S.-NAFTA freight and were the most heavily used mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $27.4 billion of the $47.5 billion of imports, or 57.7%, and $28.2 billion of the $41.8 billion of exports or 67.6%

Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 14.5% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight.

U.S.-Canada Freight

U.S.-Canada freight totaled $48.1 billion in January as three out of five transportation modes (air, truck, and rail) carried more U.S.-Canada freight than in January 2014. Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-Canada trade by air increased the most of any mode, growing by 3.4%. Truck freight increased by 2.7% and rail rose by 1.8%. Vessel freight decreased 19% and pipeline fell 22.5%

Trucks carried 55% of the $48.1 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 15.7%, pipeline at 11.6%, vessel at 5.8% and air at 4.8%.

In January 2015, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $5.6 billion, or 56.5%, moved by pipeline.

U.S.-Mexico Freight

U.S.-Mexico freight totaled $41.2 billion in January as two out of five transportation modes, rail and truck, carried more U.S.-Mexico freight than in January 2014. Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-Mexico rail freight rose 9.4%, the largest percentage increase of any mode. Freight carried by truck increased by 4.4%. Air freight decreased by 2.6%. Pipeline freight dropped 23.1% and vessel freight fell 23.5%.

Trucks carried 70.8% of the $41.2 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail at 13.1%.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in January 2015 was electrical machinery, of which $7 billion, or 92.2%, moved by trucks.

 

 

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