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BTS releases November 2016 North American freight numbers

US-NAFTA freight totaled $91.1 billion in current dollars as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexi

US-NAFTA freight totaled $91.1 billion in current dollars as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in November 2016 compared to November 2015, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The 3.3 percent rise from November 2015 was only the second time since December 2014 in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year.


Freight by Mode

The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 30.6 percent, vessel by 12.5 percent, air by 6.2 percent, rail by 5.1 percent, and truck by 0.6 percent.

Trucks carried 64.5 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 $30.7 billion of the $49.8 billion of imports (61.6 percent) and $28.0 billion of the $41.3 billion of exports (67.8 percent).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.3 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 5.9 percent; pipeline, 5.3 percent; and air, 3.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.1 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

U.S.-Canada Freight

From November 2015 to November 2016, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 2.2 percent to $46.1 billion as the value of freight on three modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 30.1 percent, reflecting the increased value of mineral fuels year over year. Air increased by 6.3 percent, and rail by 0.6 percent. Truck decreased by 0.1 percent and vessel by 3.3 percent. During this 12-month period, much of the mineral fuel freight between Texas and Canada shifted from vessel to pipeline as the value of mineral fuel shipments carried by vessel between Texas and Canada decreased while the value of pipeline shipments rose. Texas-Canada mineral fuel trade made up about 15.6 percent of all U.S.-Canada mineral fuel shipments in November 2016

Trucks carried 59.0 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.0 percent followed by pipeline, 9.8 percent; air, 4.8 percent; and vessel, 3.4 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.9 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

U.S.-Mexico Freight

From November 2015 to November 2016, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 4.5 percent to $45.0 billion as the value of freight on all five major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of goods moved in pipeline increased by 37.3 percent, vessel by 20.6 percent, rail by 10.6 percent, air by 6.0 percent, and truck by 1.2 percent.

Trucks carried 70.1 percent of the value of the freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 14.6 percent of the value of freight to and from Mexico followed by vessel, 8.5 percent; air, 3.0 percent; and pipeline, 0.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.4 percent of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.