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Severe Weather Chills January Freight Flow

March 27, 2014

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Freight transportation levels in the U.S. and Canada fell 3.4% in January compared to January of the prior year due to severe weather, according to federal data.

The decline was the sharpest since November of 2009, according to U.S. Department of Transportation.

Truck trade fell 4.9% while rail fell 9.9%. Air trade fell, while pipeline and vessel trade increased. U.S.-Mexico trade rose 3.9% during the month on less weather impact on the southern border. U.S.-NAFTA trade declined 0.2%.

Trucks carried 59.5% of the $90.3 billion of U.S.-NAFTA trade in January, accounting for $28 billion of exports and $25.7 billion of imports. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 81.5% of the total NAFTA freight flows.

For trade with Canada in January, trucks carried 52.2% of the $49.3 billion of freight.

For trade with Mexico in January, trucks carried 68.1% of the $41.1 billion of freight.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in January was electrical machinery. That $6.7 billion, or 91.5%, in freight was moved by truck.

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