U.S. DOT: NAFTA freight up month-to-month, down year-to-year

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 5/26/2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in March trucks moved more than 67 percent of all the international freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Freight movement was down in all five modes.

The value of freight hauled across the borders increased by 7.6 percent compared with February when freight went up 2 percent from the previous month. March marks the second consecutive month-to-month increase and the largest month-to-month percentage increase since March 2015 when freight was up 12.1 percent.

Compared to March 2015, freight was down 5.8 percent. Year-to-year, NAFTA freight was down every month in 2015.

Trucks were responsible for more than $60 billion of the $90.5 billion of imports and exports in March. Rail came in second with more than $14 billion. 

Vessel and pipeline freight when compared with last year contributed to the yearly decline in U.S.-NAFTA trade flow due to plummeting crude oil prices, according to BTS. Freight totaled $90.5 billion, up $6.4 billion from the previous month and down $5.6 billion from March 2015.

Pipeline freight experienced the steepest decline at 33.2 percent, a smaller drop than February’s 35.6 percent decrease. Trucks had a 1.1 percent decrease, the smallest decline among the five modes.

More than 62 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 17 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went down by 2.6 percent compared with March 2015. Of the $44.1 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 72 percent of the loads.

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