U.S. DOT: Second consecutive increase in NAFTA truck freight in May

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, July 28, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in May trucks moved 66 percent of all the international freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. For the second consecutive month, trucking was the only mode to experience an increase when compared to the previous year.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased a small fraction of a percent compared with April when freight was also down less than 1 percent from the previous month. May marks the second consecutive decrease after two consecutive increases in February and March.

Compared to May 2015, freight was down 3.1 percent. Year-to-year, NAFTA freight was down every month in 2015.

Trucks were responsible for more than $59 billion of the $89.8 billion of imports and exports in May. 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 because of plummeting crude oil prices, according to BTS. Freight totaled $89.8 billion, down $540 million from the previous month and down nearly $3 billion from May 2015.

Vessel freight experienced the steepest decline at 30.7 percent, a larger drop than April’s 26.4 percent decrease. Trucks had a 1.3 percent increase, the only increase among the five modes.

More than 61 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 16.6 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by 0.1 percent compared with May 2015. Of the $43.9 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried 71.2 percent of the loads.

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