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BTS: 4 of 5 modes carried more freight in July '13 than ’12; trucking up 5.3%

Trucking, which carries three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade, rose 5.3 percent while rail rose 4.5 percent and air grew 6.3 percent. Vessel was the only mode showing a decrease, 0.3 percent.

The Trucker News Services

9/27/2013

Four of the five transportation modes carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade in July 2013 than in July 2012 as the value of overall U.S. trade with its NAFTA partners rose 6.3 percent from year to year, according to the July North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) freight data.

It was released today by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.             

 BTS, a part of the Department’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that pipelines showed the most year-to-year growth at 25.0 percent. The increase in freight carried by pipelines reflects the rise in prices for oil and other petroleum products, the primary commodity transported by pipelines.

Trucking, which carries three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade, rose 5.3 percent while rail rose 4.5 percent and air grew 6.3 percent. Vessel was the only mode showing a decrease, 0.3 percent.

Trucks carried 59.2 percent of the $93.2 billion of freight moved in July 2013 between the United States and its NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico. Trucks were followed by rail at 14.6 percent, vessels at 9.4 percent, pipeline at 8.3 percent and air at 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.1 percent of the total NAFTA freight flows.

 U.S.-Canada trade by pipeline, of which 83 percent was imported, increased the most of any mode from July 2012 to July 2013, growing 24.2 percent. U.S.-Canada pipeline trade comprises 95 percent of total U.S. NAFTA pipeline trade (Tables 2, 4). Vessel trade decreased by 0.2 percent.

 For freight flows with Canada in July, trucks carried 53.9 percent of the $49.9 billion of the freight, followed by rail at 15.5 percent, pipelines at 14.8 percent, vessel at 5.3 percent and air at 4.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.2 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows. 

  U.S.-Mexico trade by pipeline, of which 95 percent was exports, increased the most of any mode from July 2012 to July 2013, growing 43.8 percent. U.S.-Mexico pipeline trade comprises 5 percent of total U.S. NAFTA pipeline trade (Tables 2, 6). Vessel trade decreased by 0.3 percent.

 For freight flows with Mexico in July, trucks carried 65.3 percent of the $43.2 billion of the freight, followed by vessel at 14.1 percent, rail at 13.5 percent, air at 2.9 percent and pipelines at 0.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 79.6 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows. 

 

Beginning with January 2013, BTS monthly TransBorder press releases contain data for all modes of transportation. Press releases and the BTS website now define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline. See North American TransBorder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004.             

The category of all modes of transportation cited in the following tables includes freight movements by truck, rail, vessel, pipeline, air, other and unknown modes of transport. Figure 2 above provides a breakdown by value and percentage of each mode of freight transportation used in moving goods between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners in July. The dotted slices represent surface modes, which accounted for 82.1 percent of the total. By value, truck is the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners, accounting for $28.9 billion of exports and $26.3 billion of imports.

 In July 2013, the top commodity group transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $7.4 billion moved by pipeline (Table 5). The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in July 2013 was electrical machinery, of which $7.0 billion moved by truck (Table 7).

 Data in this press release are not adjusted for inflation. Additional summary data adjusted for inflation and exchange rates can be found on the BTS website under TransBorder Indexed Freight Flow Data. The BLS indexes used in the adjustments for inflation and exchange rates July be revised in each of the three months after original publication.

 For more information, see TransBorder Press Releases for previous press releases and summary tables. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and more state, port, or commodity data. BTS has scheduled the release of August TransBorder numbers for Oct. 30.

 The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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