Commerce report from February: Truck and plane freight up from last year

| Friday, April 24, 2015

The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that in February, trucks moved more than 60 percent of all the international freight, with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. 

The dollar value of freight hauled across the borders was the lowest February value since 2011. However, trucks managed to carry more freight when compared with February 2014.

Reduced value of mineral fuels led to a decrease in February 2015 U.S.-NAFTA trade flow as it has for previous months, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Freight totaled $85.7 billion, the fourth consecutive month of decreasing freight flows when compared with the previous month.

Two of five modes experienced an increase in commodity value when compared with February 2014. Air freight had the highest growth at a rate of 4.5 percent. Truck cargo increased 0.9 percent. Rail, pipeline and vessel freight decreased by 6.2, 22.8 and 29.0 percent, respectively, leading to the net value loss for the month.

Trucks were responsible for more than $54 billion of the $85.7 billion of imports and exports in February. Rail came in at second with a contribution of more than $12 billion.

More than 57 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 14.6 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went down by 0.2 percent compared with February 2014. Of the $40.6 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried nearly 70 percent of the loads.

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