Freight flows across NAFTA fell 3.2 percent in April to $90.4 billion

The value of U.S.-NAFTA freight fell 3.2 percent in April to $90.4 billion, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). April was the 16th consecutive month that the value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight declined from the same month of the previous year.

The value of commodities moving by truck increased 0.8 percent as the value of incoming freight from Mexico (up 6.5 percent) and Canada (up 3.0 percent) exceeded the 3.6 percent decrease in shipments from the U.S. The value of freight carried on other modes declined: rail 3.4 percent; air 10.4 percent; vessel 26.4 percent; and pipeline 30.5 percent.

From April 2015 to April 2016, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows fell 6.0 percent to $45.9 billion as all modes of transportation carried a lower value of U.S.-Canada freight than a year earlier.

Lower crude oil prices contributed to a year-over-year decrease in the value of freight moved between the U.S. and Canada. Crude oil is a large share of freight carried by pipeline and vessel, which were down 31.2 percent and 45.1 percent respectively year-over-year (Figure 2, Table 3).

Trucks carried 60.8 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 17.0 percent followed by pipeline, 6.7 percent; air, 4.7 percent; and vessel, 3.1 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.5 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

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