Cross-border freight flows within NAFTA were up marginally in December

The value of cross-border freight exchanged by North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners was up 0.4 percent in December 2016 compared to December 2015, reaching a total of $87.1 billion, according to the TransBorder Freight Data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The 0.4 percent rise from December 2015 was the third time in the last five months where the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year.

Trucks carried 61.9 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 $27.4 billion of the $46.8 billion of imports (58.6 percent) and $26.4 billion of the $40.3 billion of exports (65.6 percent).

From December 2015 to December 2016, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows decreased by 1.2 percent to $44.5 billion as the value of freight on three modes decreased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on truck decreased by 2.1 percent, rail by 5.4 percent, and vessel by 20.8 percent. The value of commodities moved in pipeline increased by 28.7 percent, reflecting the increased value of mineral fuels year over year.

Trucks carried 56.7 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 15.2 percent followed by pipeline, 11.0 percent; air, 5.0 percent; and vessel, 3.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.9 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

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