U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $100.3 billion in current dollars as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in March 2017 compared to March 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 2, Table 1). March was the first time since October 2014 that U.S.-NAFTA freight has exceeded $100 billion.

The 10.9 percent rise from March 2016 is the fifth consecutive month in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year (Figure 1). It is also the first double digit year-over-year percent increase in 33 months.

Freight by Mode

 

Fig2

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 81.3 percent, vessel by 38.2 percent, air by 13.5 percent, rail by 12.6 percent, and truck by 5.0 percent (Figure 2, Table 2). The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by pipeline and vessel is due in part to a 31 percent increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil between March 2016 and March 2017.

Trucks carried 63.7 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and continued to be the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $32.6 billion of the $54.3 billion of imports (60.0 percent) and $31.3 billion of the $45.9 billion of exports (68.1 percent) (Table 2).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.8 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by pipeline, 5.9 percent; vessel, 5.6 percent; and air, 4.1 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.4 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

 

U.S.-Canada Freight

 

Fig3

 

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

From March 2016 to March 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 10.4 percent to $51.2 billion as the value of freight on all five major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 87.3 percent, vessel by 42.9 percent, air by 8.4 percent, rail by 5.1 percent, and truck by 3.9 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved by pipeline and vessel reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year (Figure 3, Table 3).

Trucks carried 58.5 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.2 percent followed by pipeline, 11.0 percent; air, 4.8 percent; and vessel, 2.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.6 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 3).

 

U.S.-Mexico Freight

 

 

Fig4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

From March 2016 to March 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 11.3 percent to $49.1 billion as the value of freight on all five major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of commodities moved by vessel increased by 36.5 percent, air by 22.2 percent, rail by 22.0 percent, pipeline by 8.9 percent, and truck by 6.0 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved by vessel reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year (Figure 4, Table 4).

Trucks carried 69.2 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 15.4 percent followed by vessel, 8.3 percent; air, 3.3 percent; and pipeline, 0.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.1 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 4).

Commodities

In March 2017, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was vehicles and parts, of which $5.6 billion, or 58.0 percent, moved by truck and $3.8 billion, or 39.5 percent, moved by rail (Figure 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in March 2017 was also vehicles and parts, of which $4.4 billion or 45.7 percent moved by rail (Figure 6).

 

Reporting Notes

BTS press releases and the BTS website define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline. See North American TransBorder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004. The category of all modes of transportation cited in the following tables includes freight movements by truck, rail, vessel, pipeline, air, other and unknown modes of transport.

Data in this press release are not seasonally adjusted and are not adjusted for inflation. Additional summary data adjusted for inflation and exchange rates can be found on the BTS website under TransBorder Indexed Freight Flow Data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indexes used in the adjustments for inflation and exchange rates might be revised in each of the three months after original publication. For previous statistical releases and summary tables, see TransBorder Releases. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and for additional state, port, and commodity data. BTS has scheduled the release of April TransBorder numbers for June 22.

  

Table 1. Value of Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows

(millions of current dollars)

Month201520162017Percent Change

2015-2016

Percent Change

2016-2017

January89,25882,43087,960-7.76.7
February85,72384,03886,474-2.02.9
March96,07090,462100,289-5.810.9
April93,32790,380-3.2
May92,70789,840-3.1
June99,03092,671-6.4
July92,99583,725-10.0
August92,44293,1260.7
September93,24691,126-2.3
October96,62493,165-3.6
November88,15491,0893.3
December86,74887,0860.4
Year-to-date271,052256,929274,723-5.26.9
Annual1,106,3251,069,138-3.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

NOTE: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 2. Value of Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

ModeMarch 2016March 2017Percent Change March

2016-2017

All ModesImports47,99454,34713.2
Exports42,46845,9428.2
Total90,462100,28910.9
All Surface ModesImports42,91147,85311.5
Exports35,22637,7647.2
Total78,13785,6179.6
TruckImports31,36432,6094.0
Exports29,47231,2986.2
Total60,83663,9085.0
RailImports9,09510,45715.0
Exports4,9565,3598.1
Total14,05115,81712.6
PipelineImports2,4524,78795.2
Exports7981,10638.5
Total3,2505,89281.3
VesselImports1,9723,16660.6
Exports2,0722,42216.9
Total4,0435,58838.2
AirImports1,5111,6549.5
Exports2,1152,46016.3
Total3,6274,11513.5

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.   Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation.  For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of TransBorder Freight Data

Table 3. Value of Monthly U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

ModeMarch 2016March 2017Percent Change March 2016-2017
All ModesImports23,25026,29313.1
Exports23,12924,9207.7
Total46,37951,21310.4
All Surface ModesImports20,59723,38813.5
Exports19,07820,4497.2
Total39,67543,83710.5
TruckImports12,94313,1661.7
Exports15,85416,7675.8
Total28,79729,9343.9
RailImports5,2205,4514.4
Exports2,6562,8306.5
Total7,8768,2815.1
PipelineImports2,4354,77095.9
Exports56785250.2
Total3,0025,62287.3
VesselImports7741,10542.8
Exports27339043.2
Total1,0471,49642.9
AirImports9091,00210.3
Exports1,3821,4817.1
Total2,2912,4838.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

NOTES: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation.  For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of TransBorder Freight Data

Fig5

 SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

NOTES: Import and export numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.

Table 4. Value of Monthly U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

ModeMarch 2016March 2017Percent Change March 2016-2017
All ModesImports24,74428,05413.4
Exports19,33921,0228.7
Total44,08349,07611.3
All Surface ModesImports22,31424,4669.6
Exports16,14817,3157.2
Total38,46241,7808.6
TruckImports18,42219,4435.5
Exports13,61814,5316.7
Total32,03933,9746.0
RailImports3,8755,00629.2
Exports2,3002,53010.0
Total6,1757,53622.0
PipelineImports1716-4.3

more at: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOT/bulletins/19ca534

Source: USA Department of Transport
2017-05-24

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