NAFTA truck freight in June down slightly from May, up year-to-year

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 8/22/2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in June trucks moved nearly 63 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. All five modes experienced an increase in freight year-to-year for the second consecutive month.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by 1 percent compared with May, when freight increased by 4.4 percent from the previous month. Compared to June 2017, freight was up more than 6 percent. This marks the 20th consecutive month of year-to-year increases.

March 2017 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. NAFTA freight declined by nearly 11 percent in July 2017, the largest decline for the year.

In March 2017, the index reached more than $100 billion for the first time since October 2014 before going back below that mark in April. That landmark was revisited in October and maintained through November before dipping below the $100 billion mark again in December. March marked the first month in 2018 to reach beyond $100 million, which has been maintained through at least June so far.

Truck NAFTA value by state compared to May. Blue states denote an increase, while orange states denote a decrease. (Courtesy Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

Trucks carried nearly $67 billion of the more than $106 billion of imports and exports in June.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight increased by 6.3 percent and Mexico freight rose by 6.5 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, electrical machinery, motor vehicles and parts, plastics and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $106.16 billion, down more than $1 billion from the previous month but an increase of more than $6 billion from June 2017.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 26.5 percent after an increase of 29.6 percent in May. Trucks accounted for an increase of 5.3 percent, the fourth largest increase behind a 23.2 percent increase in pipeline freight and a 6.3 percent increase in air freight. Truck freight experienced increases of 9 percent in May and 15.3 percent in April.

More than 56 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at more than 16 percent. Of the $51.84 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 69 percent of the loads.



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