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Trucks Moving More Freight Between U.S. and NAFTA Neighbors

March 28, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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A new report shows the value of U.S. trade with neighboring Canada and Mexico increased in January 3.5% from the same time a year ago with truck movements dominating freight transportation.

The U.S. Transportation Department says trucks carried 59.3% of the $90.5 billion in trade followed by rail at 14.3%, vessels at 9.8%, pipelines at 8.1% and air at 3.8%, with the surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carrying 81.7% of total trade between its North American Free Trade Agreement partners.

For trade between the United States and Canada, trucks carried 53.1% of the $51.0 billion in trade, followed by rail at 16.2%, pipelines at 13.9%, vessels at 6.1% and air at 4.4%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.1% of the total U.S.-Canada trade.        

 In U.S. trade with Mexico trucks carried 67.4% of the $39.5 billion in trade, followed by vessels at 14.5%, rail at 11.8%, air at 3.1% and pipelines at 07 %. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 79.9% of the total U.S.-Mexico trade.

Import truck trade between the U.S. and two other countries increased 10.5% in January from the month before and 1.6% from the same time a year ago. Export truck trade moved 13% percent higher from December and grew 4.3% from January 2012. Together this equaled an 11.8% improvement in the December to January time frame and 3% increase in the one from a year earlier.

Rail movements showed declines from December to January and was mixed when viewed year-over-year.

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