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Cross-Border Freight Value Posts First Hike in More Than a Year

October 27, 2016

By Evan Lockridge

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U.S.-NAFTA freight value percent change from previous year over the last 24 months. Graphic: U.S. DOT
U.S.-NAFTA freight value percent change from previous year over the last 24 months. Graphic: U.S. DOT

The total value of U.S. freight moved between Canada and Mexico during August posted its first year-over-year increase since December 2014, according to new Transportation Department figures.

The resulting 0.7% increase from August 2015 also came as just two transportation modes, truck and air, carried more cross-border freight by value.

The value of commodities moving by truck and air increased 3.4% and 4.9%, respectively, while the value of freight carried by rail fell 0.3%. Pipeline declined 4.5% and vessel dropped 12.5%. The overall value totaled $93.1 billion.

Trucks carried 65.3% of the freight moved with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico. Trucking accounted for $31.2 billion of the $49.7 billion of imports, or 62.8%, and $29.6 billion of the $43.4 billion of exports, 68.3%.

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.3% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight.

Much of the earlier year-over-year declines were due to the dramatic drop in the price of crude oil compared to two years ago.

U.S.-Canada Freight Value Slips

From August 2015 to August 2016, air, rail, and truck carried a higher value of U.S.-Canada freight than a year earlier. However, the total value of U.S.-Canada freight fell to $47.3 billion, down 1.4% from a year earlier, due to decreases in the value of goods moved by vessel and pipeline.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by all modes was vehicles and parts, of which $5.2 billion, or 55.1%, moved by truck and $4 billion, or 42.5%, moved by rail.

Trucks carried 59.6% of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.5%, followed by pipeline, 9%; air, 4.7%; and vessel, 3.8%.

U.S.-Mexico Freight Value Increases

In August the value of U.S.-Mexico freight increased 3% from the same time a year ago to $45.8 as pipeline, truck and air carried a higher value of U.S.-Mexico freight than a year earlier.

Freight carried by pipeline increased by 45.1%, truck by 5.4% and air by 0.1%. Rail decreased 3.8% and vessel declined by 4.9%

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by all modes in August was electrical machinery, of which $7.4 billion, or 79.5%, moved by truck.

Trucks carried 71.2% of the value of freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 14.1% followed by vessel, 7.8%; air, 2.8%; and pipeline, 1.1%.

Comments

  1. 1. Geri [ October 28, 2016 @ 06:48AM ]

    I would have liked to have seen how much went from US to Mexico and from US to Canada as opposed to the total between countries. How much value is the US getting in trade and work compared to work that has been exported from the US ?

 

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