U.S.-NAFTA freight totalled $97.4 billion as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in August 2017 compared to August 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The 4.6 percent rise from August 2016 is the 10th consecutive month in which the year-over-year value in current dollars of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year.
While the value of commodities moved by truck only increased by 3.6 percent, trucks carried 64.7 percent of NAFTA freight.
The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 13.2 percent, air by 8.4 percent, vessel by 4.5 percent, and rail by 3.2 percent. The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by pipeline is due in part to an increase in the volume of mineral fuel imports.
Trucks continued to be the most utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $31.9 billion of the $52.0 billion of imports (61.4 percent) and $31.1 billion of the $45.4 billion of exports (68.5 percent).
Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.1 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 5.8 percent; pipeline, 5.5 percent; and air, 3.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.3 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.
Comparing August 2016 to August 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 4.7 percent to $49.5 billion as the value of freight on four major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 20.0 percent, air by 7.1 percent, truck by 3.4 percent, and rail by 1.1 percent. Vessel decreased by 5.3 percent due in part to a decrease in the volume of mineral fuel shipments.
Trucks carried 58.9 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 15.9 percent followed by pipeline, 10.3 percent; air, 4.8 percent; and vessel, 3.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.1 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.
Comparing August 2016 to August 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 4.5 percent to $47.9 billion as the value of freight on four major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of commodities moved by air increased by 10.7 percent, vessel by 9.4 percent, rail by 5.8 percent, and truck by 3.7 percent. Pipeline decreased by 43.1 percent due primarily to decreases in the volumes of goods imported.
Trucks carried 70.6 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 14.3 percent followed by vessel, 8.2 percent; air, 2.9 percent; and pipeline, 0.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.5 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.
In August 2017, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was vehicles and parts, of which $5.5 billion, or 58.1 percent, moved by truck and $3.7 billion, or 38.9 percent by rail. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in August 2017 was vehicles and parts, of which $4.5 billion, or 48.7 percent, moved by truck and $3.8 billion, or 41.6 percent, moved by rail.