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Trucks carry 57.2 percent of NAFTA trade in December

Trucks carried 57.2 percent of the $90.1 billion of U.S.-NAFTA trade in December 2013, accounting for $26.3 billion of exports and $25.2 billion of imports. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker News Services

2/27/2014

WASHINGTON — Three of five transportation modes – truck, vessel and pipeline – carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade in December 2013 than in December 2012, according to the December TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

BTS reported that pipelines showed the most year-to-year growth at 21.7 percent as the value of overall U.S. trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico rose 6.4 percent from year to year (Table 2).

Trucks, which carry nearly three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade and is the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners, rose 7.2 percent year-to-year while rail declined 2.3 percent. Vessel rose 10.7 percent and air declined 3.2 percent.

Trucks carried 57.2 percent of the $90.1 billion of U.S.-NAFTA trade in December 2013, accounting for $26.3 billion of exports and $25.2 billion of imports. While the value of freight carried by rail decreased from year-to-year, rail was still the second largest mode, at 14.9 percent, followed by vessels at 11.2 percent, pipeline at 7.7 percent and air at 4.0 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 79.7 percent of the total NAFTA freight flows.

U.S.-Canada trade by pipeline, of which 89.2 percent was imported, increased the most of any mode from December 2012 to December 2013, growing 21.9 percent. U.S.-Canada pipeline trade comprised 95.2 percent of total U.S.-NAFTA pipeline trade in December Vessel freight exports to Canada increased by 64.8 percent from December 2012 due to an increase in exports of mineral fuels.

For trade with Canada in December, trucks carried 52.2 percent of the $50.0 billion of freight, followed by rail at 15.7 percent, pipelines at 13.2 percent, vessel at 7.1 percent and air at 4.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 81.2 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

The value of U.S.-Mexico trade by pipeline had the largest percentage increase of any mode from December 2012 to December 2013, growing 17.5 percent. Freight moved by vessel and air between the U.S. and Mexico increased by 14.8 percent and decreased by 0.2 percent respectively.  

 For trade with Mexico in December, trucks carried 63.3 percent of the $40.1 billion of the freight, followed by vessel at 16.4 percent, rail at 13.8 percent, air at 3.1 percent and pipelines at 0.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 77.9 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows. 

In December 2013, the top commodity group transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $6.6 billion moved by pipeline. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in December 2013 was electrical machinery, of which $7.2 billion moved by truck.

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

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