WASHINGTON — U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $86.5 billion in current dollars as three major transportation modes — pipeline, vessel and rail — carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in February 2017 compared with February 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The 2.9 percent increase from February 2016 was the fourth consecutive month in which the year-over-year value increased from the same month of the previous year.
The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 65.2 percent, vessel by 36.9 percent, and rail by 7.0 percent. Air decreased by 1.6 percent and truck decreased by 3.6 percent. The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by pipeline and vessel was largely due to a 76 percent increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil between February 2016 and February 2017.
The top commodity transported by truck in U.S.-NAFTA trade, computer-related machinery and parts, was down in value by 10.7 percent from February 2016 to February 2017.
Trucks carried 63.2 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 $28.1 billion of the $47.2 billion of imports (59.7 percent) and $26.5 billion of the $39.3 billion of exports (67.4 percent).
Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 16.2 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by pipeline, 6.5 percent; vessel, 5.7 percent; and air, 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.9 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.
From February 2016 to February 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 4.2 percent to $44.4 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 69.7 percent, rail by 6.3 percent, and vessel by 1.2 percent. Air decreased by 1.5 percent, and truck by 2.2 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved in pipeline reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year.
Trucks carried 57.7 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.9 percent followed by pipeline, 12.0 percent; air, 4.5 percent; and vessel, 2.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 86.6 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.
From February 2016 to February 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 1.5 percent to $42.1 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of commodities moved by vessel increased by 54.2 percent, pipeline by 9.5 percent, and rail by 7.8 percent. Air decreased by 1.8 percent, and truck by 4.7 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved by vessel reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year.
Trucks carried 68.9 percent of the value of the freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 15.5 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico followed by vessel, 8.9 percent; air, 2.7 percent; and pipeline, 0.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.1 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.
In February 2017, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by all modes was vehicles and parts, of which $4.9 billion, or 56.4 percent, moved by truck and $3.6 billion, or 41.3 percent, moved by rail. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico by all modes in February 2017 was vehicles and parts, of which $3.8 billion or 47.9 percent moved by rail.