BTS reports U.S.-NAFTA trade rises again in September

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The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that United States trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico saw headed up September, the most recent month for which data is available.

Rising 3.6% to $94.4 billion, September stands as the 11th consecutive month of increases.

Trucks carried 64.3% 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 also accounted for $31.0 billion of the $50.2 billion of imports (61.8%) and $29.7 billion of the $44.2 billion of exports (67.2%).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 14.9% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 6.7%; pipeline, 5.2%; and air, 3.9%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.4% of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

BTS said that from August 2016 to August 2017 the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows headed up 5% to $48.5 million, as the as the value of freight on four major modes increased annually. The value of freight carried by vessel rose 52.4% and pipeline was up by 11.1%, truck was up 3.1%, and rail by 2.4%. Air was down 5%.

And U.S.-Mexico freight flows saw a 2.1% annual gain to $45.9 billion.

The value of commodities moved by vessel increased by 19.4%, and truck by 2.8%. Air decreased by 0.6%, rail by 9.6%, and pipeline by 15.9% due primarily to decreases in the volumes of mineral fuels exported. Trucks carried 70.4% of the value of freight to and from Mexico. Rail carried 13.6% followed by vessel, 9.2% air, 3.0%; and pipeline, 0.6%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.6% of the value of total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.   

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