U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $88.0 billion in current dollars as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in January 2017 compared to January 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
The 6.7 percent rise from January 2016 was the largest year-over-year increase since the September 2014 increase over September 2013. It was also the third straight month in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year.
Freight by mode
The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 42.7 percent, vessel by 41.8 percent, air by 13.7 percent, rail by 5.5 percent, and truck by 0.4 percent. The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by pipeline and vessel was largely due to a 66 percent increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil between January 2016 and January 2017.
Trucks carried 62.5 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and continued to be the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $28.2 billion of the $47.8 billion of imports (59.1 percent) and $26.8 billion of the $40.2 billion of exports (66.6 percent).
Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.0 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 7.0 percent; pipeline, 6.4 percent; and air, 3.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.0 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.
From January 2016 to January 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 7.1 percent to $45.0 billion as the value of freight on five major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 44.0 percent, air by 17.0 percent, vessel by 13.0 percent, rail by 8.5 percent, and truck by 0.5 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved in pipeline reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year.
Trucks carried 56.8 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.1 percent followed by pipeline, 11.8 percent; air, 4.8 percent; and vessel, 4.1 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.7 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.
From January 2016 to January 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 6.3 percent to $43.0 billion as the value of freight on five major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of commodities moved by vessel increased by 58.9 percent, pipeline by 26.4 percent, air by 8.6 percent, rail by 2.1 percent, and truck by 0.3 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved by vessel reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year.
Trucks carried 68.6 percent of the value of the freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 13.9 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico followed by vessel, 10.1 percent; air, 3.0 percent; and pipeline, 0.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.2 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.
See BTS Transborder Statistics Release for summary tables and additional data. See North American Transborder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004.