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June U.S.-NAFTA trade up 10.2% over 2013; trucking contributes most

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker News Services

8/28/2014

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $103.0 billion in June 2014 as all five major transportation modes — air, vessel, pipeline, rail, and trucks — carried more freight by value in June 2014 than in June 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

Of the $9.5 billion, or 10.2 percent, increase in U.S.-NAFTA freight from June 2013, truck freight contributed the most, $4.4 billion, followed by pipeline at $2.1 billion. The trucking increase was predominately due to an increase in the value of U.S.-Mexico truck freight, which was up $2.9 billion, or 64.8 percent, of the total trucking increase.

The pipeline increase was almost exclusively due to a rise in the value of U.S.-Canada pipeline freight, which was up $2.0 billion, or 94.0 percent, of the total pipeline increase.

In June, commodities moving by pipeline grew in value by the largest percentage of any mode, 35.2 percent. This increase is due, in part, to exports of crude oil by pipeline from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana. Vessel freight increased 19.3 percent followed by a truck increase of 7.8 percent, an air increase of 6.5 percent, and a rail increase of 4.5 percent. The increase in the value of freight carried by pipelines reflects both a rise in the volume and prices for oil and other petroleum products, the primary commodity transported by pipelines.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.5 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight in June 2014, accounting for $29.8 billion of imports and $31.4 billion of exports. 

Rail remained the second largest mode, moving 15.0 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel at 8.9 percent, pipeline at 8.0 percent, and air at 3.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.4 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

Year-to-year, the value of U.S.-Canada freight by pipeline increased the most of any mode, growing 35.1 percent. U.S.-Canada pipeline freight was valued at $7.7 billion, 94.2 percent of total U.S.-NAFTA pipeline freight in June. Freight by vessel increased by 24.7 percent, air by 9.5 percent, truck by 5.3 percent and rail by 1.4 percent.

Trucks carried 53.7 percent of the $57.9 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 15.5 percent, pipeline at 13.3 percent, vessel at 6.2 percent and air at 4.5 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.5 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

Year-to-year, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight by pipeline increased the most of any mode, growing 36.9 percent, due to an increase in mineral fuels exports, although pipeline remained the smallest of the major modes. Freight with Mexico by vessel rose 16.1 percent followed by truck at 10.6 percent, rail at 9.2 percent and air at 1.2 percent.  

Trucks carried 66.9 percent of the $45.1 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail at 14.3 percent, vessel at 12.3 percent, air at 2.9 percent and pipeline at 1.1 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.2 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.

In June 2014, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was mineral fuels, of which $7.7 billion, or 59.8 percent, moved by pipeline. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico in June 2014 was electrical machinery, of which $7.3 billion, or 91.5 percent, moved by trucks.

Beginning with February 2013, BTS monthly TransBorder press releases contain data for all modes of transportation. Press releases and the BTS website 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.     

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. BTS has scheduled the release of July TransBorder numbers for Sept. 25.

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

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