Cross-border trade between the United States and its partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement totaled $100.6 billion in October 2017, up 7.9 percent from October 2016.
U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $100.6 billion in October 2017 as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico during the month compared to October 2016, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
The TransBorder Freight Data, released by the BTS on Jan. 4, shows that the 7.9 percent rise from October 2016 is the 12th consecutive month in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased in current dollars from the same month the previous year.
The value of commodities moving by vessel increased 32.6 percent, pipeline by 9.3 percent, air by 6.1 percent, truck by 5.7 percent, and rail by 3.3 percent, according to BTS statistics.
“The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by vessel is due in part to an increase in the unit value and an 18 percent increase in the tonnage of mineral fuels traded,” the transportation statistics bureau explained in a statement.
BTS data also shows that trucks carried 64 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and remain the most utilized mode for moving goods to and from both Canada and Mexico. Trucks accounted for $33.4 billion of the $54.5 billion of imports (61.2 percent) and $31 billion of the $46.1 billion of exports (67.3 percent), according to bureau statistics.
The second largest mode by value was still rail, which moved 15.1 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel at 6.6 percent, pipeline at 5 percent and air at 3.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.1 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.
Regarding U.S.-Canada freight flows, their value rose by 6.8 percent to $49.7 billion from October 2016 to October 2017, as the value of freight on all five major modes increased from a year earlier, the BTS said. The value of freight carried by vessel increased nearly 62 percent, which the bureau said was due in part to an increase in the unit value and a 29.8 percent increase in the tonnage of mineral fuels traded.
Pipeline increased a reported 11.6 percent, air by 8.9 percent, rail by 7.2 percent, and truck by 1.4 percent.
Trucks carried 57.7 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 16.2 percent, pipeline at 9.6 percent, air at 4.7 percent, and vessel at 4.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.4 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.
Regarding U.S.-Mexico freight flows, it increased by 9 percent between October 2016 and October 2017 to $50.8 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier, the BTS said. The value of freight carried by vessel increased 21.8 percent due in part to an increase in the unit value and an 11.7 percent increase in the tonnage of mineral fuels traded.
The value of commodities moved by truck increased by 9.5 percent, bureau data shows, largely due to a 26 percent increase in the value of motor vehicles moved by truck. Additionally, the value of goods moved by air increased by 1.9 percent, while rail fell by 0.9 percent, and pipeline dropped by 17.7 percent.
Trucks carried 70.2 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail at 14 percent, vessel at 8.8 percent, air at 2.9 percent and pipeline at 0.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.7 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.
Regarding commodities, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada last October was vehicles and parts, of which $4.7 billion, or 54.0 percent, moved by truck and $3.7 billion, or 43.1 percent, by rail, BTS statistics show. The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Mexico that month was vehicles and parts, of which $5 billion, or 49.6 percent, moved by truck, and $4.0 billion, or 40.0 percent, moved by rail.