Cross-border freight continues year-to-year increase trend

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 4/28/2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in February trucks moved more than 63 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. However, only air and truck freight decreased across all five modes.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by nearly 2 percent compared with January when freight was up 1 percent from the previous month.

Compared to February 2016, freight was up nearly 3 percent. This marks the fourth consecutive month of year-to-year increases. Nine of 12 months experienced a loss compared to the previous year in 2016.

August, November and December were the only months to experience 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 were responsible for nearly $55 billion of the $86.4 billion of imports and exports in February. Rail came in second with more than $14 billion.

Freight totaled $86.474 billion, down nearly $1.5 billion from the previous month but an increase of more than $2.4 billion from February 2016.

Pipeline freight experienced the largest increase at 65.2 percent after an increase of 42.7 percent in January. Trucks experienced the largest decrease at 3.6 percent. In January, truck freight experienced the smallest increase when all five modes were up.
Nearly 58 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at nearly 17 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by 1.5 percent compared with February 2016. Of the $42.1 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried nearly 69 percent of the loads.

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