Trucks carry more freight between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement than railcars. The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics last week reported that trucks carried 63.4 percent of NAFTA freight between May 2016 and May 2017. U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $98.2 billion during that time, with trucks accounting for $32.2 billion of the $53.5 billion of imports and $30.1 billion of the $44.7 billion of exports. Vehicles and vehicle parts were noted as the top products being moved between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Those statistics come just weeks before the Trump administration is set to renegotiate NAFTA, which includes the top trading partners for U.S. agriculture.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.
May 2017 North American Freight Numbers
U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $98.2 billion as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in May 2017 compared to May 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 2, Table 1).
The 9.4 percent rise from May 2016 is the seventh consecutive month in which the year-over-year value in current dollars of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year (Figure 1).
Freight by Mode
The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 60.3 percent, vessel by 28.4 percent, air by 8.7 percent, rail by 7.0 percent, and truck by 5.0 percent (Figure 2, Table 2). In contrast with recent months, there was only a modest year-over-year increase in the price of mineral fuels (3.8 percent). In May, the increase in the value of freight by pipeline and vessel more closely reflected a greater volume of mineral fuels moved rather than an increase in the price of those commodities.
Trucks carried 63.4 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 $32.2 billion of the $53.5 billion of imports (60.2 percent) and $30.1 billion of the $44.7 billion of exports (67.3 percent) (Table 2).
Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.5 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 6.4 percent; pipeline, 5.7 percent; and air, 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.7 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).