BTS reports U.S-NAFTA trade is up annually in October

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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 an annual gain in October, the most recent month for which data is available.

Rising 7.9% to $100.6 billion, October marks the 12th consecutive month of increases.

Trucks carried 64.0% 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 $33.4 billion of the $54.5 billion of imports (61.2%) and $31.0 billion of the $46.2 billion of exports (67.3%).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.1% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 6.6%; pipeline, 5.0%; and air, 3.8%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.1% of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

BTS said that from October 2016 to October 2017 the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows headed up 6.8% to $9.7 million, as the as the value of freight on five major modes increased annually.

Trucks carried 57.7 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.2 percent followed by pipeline, 9.6 percent; air, 4.7 percent; and vessel, 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.

Comparing October 2016 to October 2017, the value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows increased by 9.0 percent to $50.8 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on vessel increased by 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, largely due to a 26.0 percent increase in the value of motor vehicles moved by truck. The value of goods moved by air increased by 1.9 percent. Rail decreased by 0.9 percent, and pipeline by 17.7 percent. 

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