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Trucks carried 60.1 percent of U.S.-NAFTA trade in March

In March, Trucks carried nearly three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners.

The Trucker News Services

5/29/2014

U.S.-NAFTA trade totaled $101.5 billion in March 2014, the second highest amount on record, as four of five transportation modes — air, vessel, pipeline and trucks — carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade than in March 2013, according to the TransBorder freight data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The March 2014 trade total, a 6.2 percent increase from March 2013, was exceeded only by trade value in October 2013. U.S-NAFTA trade has increased from the same month of the previous year in eight of the last nine months, interrupted by a 0.2 percent decrease in January. The January decline reflected the severe weather in the northern states and along the U.S.-Canada border.

In March, Trucks carried nearly three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 60.1 percent of U.S.-NAFTA trade in March 2014, accounting for $31.2 billion of exports and $29.8 billion of imports.

Although the value of freight carried by rail decreased from year to year, rail remained the second largest mode moving 14.8 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA trade, followed by vessel at 8.4 percent, pipeline at 8.2 percent and air at 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.1 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

Year-to-year, the value of U.S.-Canada trade by pipeline increased the most of any mode, growing 25.2 percent. Trade using trucks rose by 2.7 percent. Trucks carried 54.3 percent of the $56.6 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 15.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.7 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

With U.S.-Mexico trade more dependent on trucks than trade on the northern border, a 10.2 percent rise in truck freight fueled the overall 8.8 percent increase in southern border trade. Shipments by truck comprised 77.4 percent of the dollar value of the overall increase. For exports, a 14.1 percent increase in shipments using trucks made up 86.0 percent of the overall 10.7 percent increase.

Trucks carried 67.4 percent of the $44.9 billion of freight to and from Mexico. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.3 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 6).

In March, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $7.9 billion, or 61.6 percent, moved by pipeline. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in March 2014 was electrical machinery, of which $7.2 billion, or 91.3 percent, moved by trucks.

For more information, click here to visit the BTS website.

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

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