U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows

According to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the severe weather in January contributed to a decline in U.S.-Canada trade.  January’s freight movement between the U.S. and Canada was down 3.4 percent from January 2013, the largest year-to-year decline since November 2009.  Freight moved by truck was down 4.9 percent, and rail fell 9.9 percent.  Trade by vessel, on the other hand, increased 3.7 percent, and trade by pipeline increased 1.9 percent compared to January of last year.US-Canada Freight Flow Mode 01.14

The BTS numbers showed that trucks carried 52.2 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows in January followed by rail at 15.1 percent, pipeline at 14.6 percent, vessel at 7.2 percent and air at 4.7 percent. In January Mineral Fuels was the top commodity group transported between the U.S. and Canada, moved by pipeline.

U.S.-Mexico trade was effected less by the severe weather in January, which is reflected by the 3.9 percent year-to-year increase in freight movement.  Trade carried by pipeline between the U.S. and Mexico rose 30.6 percent, rail rose 5.9 percent and truck increased 5.0 percent from January 2013.  Freight moved by vessel dropped 5.4 percent, and air decrease by 0.4 percent from last year.US-Mexico Freight Flow 01.14

Trucks carried 68.1 percent of the total freight flows between the U.S. and Mexico in January, followed by vessel at 13.2 percent, rail at 12.0 percent, air at 2.9 percent and pipeline at 0.9 percent.  The top commodity group transported between the U.S. and Mexico in January was Electrical Machinery, moved by truck.

In January total U.S.-NAFTA trade decreased 0.2 percent from last year, the first year-to-year decrease since June 2013.  This decrease can also be attributed in part to the impact the severe weather in January had on the northern border.  Trade carried by trucks between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners remained virtually unchanged from January 2013.  Freight moved by vessels and air rose, 0.6 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, while rail fell 4.2 percent.US-NAFTA Freigh FLow Mode 01.14

In January 2014 trucks carried 59.5 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA trade.  Rail carried 13.7 percent followed by vessels at 9.8 percent, pipeline at 8.4 percent and air at 3.8 percent.