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May 01, 2017

Cross-border freight flows within NAFTA were up 2.9 percent in February

The value of cross-border freight exchanged by North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners was up 2.9 percent in February 2017 compared to February 2016, reaching a total of $86.5 billion, according to the TransBorder Freight Data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The February rise was the fourth consecutive month in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year.

Trucks carried 63.2 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 $28.1 billion of the $47.2 billion of imports (59.7 percent) and $26.5 billion of the $39.3 billion of exports (67.4 percent). Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 16.2 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by pipeline, 6.5 percent; vessel, 5.7 percent; and air, 3.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.9 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

From February 2016 to February 2017, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 4.2 percent to $44.4 billion as the value of freight on three major modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 69.7 percent, rail by 6.3 percent, and vessel by 1.2 percent. Air decreased by 1.5 percent, and truck by 2.2 percent. The increase in the value of commodities moved in pipeline reflects the increased value of mineral fuels year over year.

Trucks carried 57.7 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 16.9 percent followed by pipeline, 12.0 percent; air, 4.5 percent; and vessel, 2.7 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 86.6 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.