NAFTA freight continued to increase year-to-year in September

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/22/2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in September trucks moved more than 64 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Three of five modes experienced an increase in freight year to year, including trucks.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by more than 3 percent compared with September, when freight was up more than 9 percent from the previous month. March had the largest month-to-month increase (16 percent) since March 2011, when NAFTA freight was up more than 22 percent compared to February 2011.

Compared to September 2016, freight was up 3.6 percent. This marks the 11th consecutive month of year-to-year increases. Nine of 12 months experienced a loss compared to the previous year in 2016.

NAFTA September freight chart

September’s rise was only the third largest year-to-year increase this year, ahead of February (2.9 percent increase) and April (0.8 percent increase). In March, the index reached more than $100 billion for the first time since October 2014.

August, November and December were the only months to have a year-to-year increase in 2016 at 0.7 percent, 3.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. August was the first year-to-year increase since December 2014, when freight increased by more than 5 percent.

Trucks carried nearly $61 billion of the $94.4 billion of imports and exports in September. Rail came in second with more than $14 billion.

Freight totaled $94.379 billion, down more than $3 billion from the previous month but an increase of more than $3 billion from September 2016.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 28.6 percent after an increase of 4.5 percent in August. Trucks accounted for a modest increase at 2.9 percent. Truck freight experienced a similar modest increase of 3.6 percent and 4 percent in August and July, respectively.
Nearly 59 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 16 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by 2.1 percent compared with September 2016. Of the $45.9 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 70 percent of the loads.



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