September North American Freight Number

The value of overall U.S. trade with its NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico, rose 5.0 percent from September 2012 to September 2013 according to North American Freight numbers released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

Pipelines were reported as having the largest year-to-year growth, 14.2 percent above last September’s value of freight carried by pipelines.  Trucks are the most heavily utilized mode for moving freight between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners, carrying three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade.  Freight moved by trucks in September increased 5.4 percent from last year, and rail rose 8.1 percent. However, both freight carried by vessel and air declined from last year, 4.3 percent and 0.1 percent respectively.

Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: 
September 2013 Compared to September 2012

US-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode September 2013

In September 2013 trucks carried 59.4 percent of U.S.-NAFTA trade followed by rail at 16.1 percent, vessels at 8.6 percent, pipelines at 7.2 percent and air at 3.9 percent.

Increasing 33.0 percent, U.S.-Canada trade by vessel had the largest percentage increase of any mode from September 2012 to September 2013.  Pipeline trade came in second in September, increasing 15.2 percent from last year.   Freight moved by rail between the U.S. and Canada only increased 3.0 percent from last year.

In September 54.2 percent of freight carried between the U.S. and Canada was moved by trucks, 16.8 percent by rail, 12.3 percent by pipeline, 5.8 percent by vessel and 4.5 percent by air.

From September 2012 to September 2013, U.S.-Mexico trade by rail had the largest percentage increase of any mode, increasing 16.4 percent.  According to the BTS this was mainly due to a 20 percent increase in vehicles and vehicle parts moving by rail.  Freight moved by vessel between the U.S. and Mexico decreased 18.2 percent from September 2012.

Trucks carried 66.0 percent of U.S.-Mexico trade in September, followed by rail at 15.1 percent, vessel at 12.3 percent, air at 3.1 percent and pipelines at 0.7 percent.