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

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, March 24, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in January trucks moved more than 66 percent of all the international freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Freight movement was down in all modes, but trucking showed the least decline.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by nearly 5 percent compared with December when freight went down nearly 2 percent from the previous month. All modes carried less freight when compared with January 2015.

NAFTA freight was down every month in 2015.

Trucks were responsible for nearly $55 billion of the $82.43 billion of imports and exports in January. Rail came in second with nearly $13 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 $82.43 billion, down more than $4 billion from the previous month and down nearly $7 billion from January 2015.

Vessel freight experienced the steepest decline at 37.3 percent, a steeper drop than December’s 29.9 percent decrease. Trucks experienced the smallest decline with a drop of only 1.5 percent. Across all modes, there was a 7.7 percent decrease when compared with the previous year.

More than 60 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 15.9 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went down by 1.8 percent compared with January 2015. Of the $40.5 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 72 percent of the loads.

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