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US-NAFTA freight traffic drops 8 percent year-on-year

The value of US-NAFTA freight totaled $93.0 billion in July 2015 as all modes except air carried less freight than in July 2014, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released Tuesday by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Year-over-year, the value of US-NAFTA freight flows by all modes decreased by 8.0 percent. Large decreases in the value of commodities moved by pipeline and vessel in July were due to the reduced unit price of mineral fuel.

In July 2015 compared to July 2014, the value of commodities moving by air increased by 3.4 percent, while truck decreased by 0.6 percent and rail by 14.5 percent. Vessel freight values decreased by 26.3 percent and pipeline freight decreased by 34.8 percent mainly due to the lower unit price of mineral fuel.

Trucks carried 63.9 percent of US-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both US-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $30.0 billion of the $49.2 billion of imports (61.0 percent) and $29.4 billion of the $43.8 billion of exports (67.1 percent).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 13.7 percent of all US-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 7.3 percent; pipeline, 6.0 percent; and air, 3.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.7 percent of the total US-NAFTA freight flows.

The value of US-Canada freight totaled $47.5 billion in July 2015, down 14.0 percent from July 2014, as no mode of transportation carried a higher value of US-Canada freight than a year earlier.

Trucks carried 57.5 percent of the $47.5 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail, 14.3 percent; pipeline, 11.0 percent; vessel, 5.2 percent; and air, 4.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.8 percent of the total US-Canada freight flows.

The value of US-Mexico freight totaled $45.5 billion in July 2015, down 0.8 percent from July 2014, as only two out of five transportation modes – air and truck – carried more US-Mexico freight than in July 2014. Year-over-year, the value of US-Mexico air freight rose 9.5 percent, the largest percentage increase of any mode. Freight carried by truck increased by 4.7 percent. Pipeline freight was down 4.6 percent and rail freight declined 8.5 percent. Vessel freight decreased by 25.1 mainly due to lower mineral fuel prices.

Trucks carried 70.6 percent of the $45.5 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail, 13.1 percent; vessel, 9.5 percent; air, 3.0 percent; and pipeline, 0.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.6 percent of the total US-Mexico freight flows.


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