U.S. Canada Freight Flow Value Drops

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The value of U.S.-Canada freight plummeted in April, according to a new U.S. Transportation Department report, as overall freight traffic between all three North American Free Trade Agreement countries also declined.

U.S.-Canada freight totaled US$48.8 billion in April, down 12.5 percent from a year earlier, as all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, pipeline and vessel – carried a lower value of U.S.-Canada freight than a year earlier.

The top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada was vehicles and parts, of which 58.2 percent moved by truck and 39.2 percent moved by rail.

Vehicles and parts replaced mineral fuels as the top commodity in March. Mineral fuels had been the top commodity by value moved between the U.S. and Canada for 29 consecutive months starting in November 2012. This change is due, in large part, to a decline in the unit price of mineral fuels in recent months.

Trucks carried 58 percent of the US$48.8 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail at 16.9 percent.

The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

This happened as overall U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled US$93.3 billion in April 2015, a 6.8 percent decline from April 2014.

Truck freight and rail freight both decreased by 0.9 percent though trucks carried 64.2 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight for the month and was the most heavily used mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners.

Meantime, U.S.-Mexico freight totaled US$44.5 billion in April 2015, up 0.3 percent from April 2014, as three out of five transportation modes – air, rail, and truck – carried more U.S.-Mexico freight than in April 2014. Freight carried by truck freight increased by 4.9 percent.

Trucks carried 70.9 percent of the US$44.5 billion of freight to and from Mexico while the surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.9 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows.

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