The value of freight moved between the U.S. and its North America neighbors increased 4.5% in 2014 compared to a year earlier, while over the longer term trucking has some lost market share to other transportation modes.
Four of five transportation modes – truck, rail, pipeline, and vessel – carried more U.S. freight with its North American Free Trade Agreement partners by value in 2014 than in 2013 as the overall value of freight on all modes to $1.2 trillion.
Trucking saw an increase of 4.5% last year compared to 2013, while the value of commodities moving by pipeline grew the most, 12.5%, despite a decline in cost per unit of petroleum products. Rail increased 1.5%, vessel increased 0.2%, and air fell 0.2%.
Trucks carried 59.9% of this freight and were the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners, but its share is down 3.7 percentage points from 10 years earlier. Trucks accounted for $348.7 billion of the $640.2 billion of imports, or 54.5%, and $365.9 billion of the $552.5 billion of exports, or 66.2%
Rail remained the second most used mode, moving 14.9% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 8.7%; pipeline, 7.9% and air, 3.7%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.7% of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.
U.S.-Canada Freight Increases Nearly 4%
From 2013 to 2014, total U.S.-Canada freight rose 3.8%. Trucks carried 53.8% of the $658.2 billion of freight to and from the country, followed by rail, 15.8%; pipeline, 13.5%; vessel, 5.9%; and air, 4.3%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.1% of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.
According to the report, the trucking share of total freight movements with Canada has fallen 6.6 percentage points since 2004, with its imports sliding 8.8 percentage points while pipeline’s share of imports rose 8.4 percentage points and vessel exports rose 4 percentage points.
Michigan led all states in freight with Canada in 2014 with $74.2 billion. Of the top 10 states for U.S.-Canada freight in 2014, Texas had the highest percent change from 2013, a 19.2% increase.
The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada in 2014 was mineral fuels, worth $148.1 billion, with 59.9% moved by pipelines. The next highest commodity category transported by a single mode in U.S.-Canada freight was vehicles and vehicle parts - other than railway vehicles and parts - with $66.9 billion in freight moved by trucks.
U.S.-Mexico Freight Up 5.5%
When 2014 is compared to the year before, total U.S.-Mexico freight rose 5.5%. Trucks carried 67.5% of the $534.5 billion of freight to and from the country, followed by rail, 13.8%; vessel, 12.2%; air, 2.9%; and pipeline, 0.9%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.2% of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows
Although trucks moved roughly two-thirds of U.S.-Mexico freight, its share of total freight decreased by 1.6 percentage points from 2004. Trucking’s share of exports decreased 4.6 percentage points from 2004 while vessel’s percentage share of exports rose 4.5 percentage points during the same time.
Texas led all states in freight with Mexico in 2014 with $192.8 billion. Of the top 10 states for U.S.-Mexico freight in 2014, Indiana had the highest percent change over 2013, a 27.4% increase.
The top commodity transported between the U.S. and Mexico in 2014 was electrical machinery at $96.6 billion with 91.5% moved by trucks. The next highest commodity category transported by a single mode in U.S.-Mexico freight was computers with $76.4 billion in freight, also moved by truck.