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NAFTA Freight Flow Values See Monthly and Year-on-Year Declines

Monday, November 02, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The value of monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners dropped slightly from July to August, down 0.6 percent to $92.4 billion, according to statistics released Oct. 29 by the Department of Transportation. The value of NAFTA freight flows was also down 8.1 percent from a year earlier as all modes of transportation carried less freight and the prices of mineral fuel shipments continued to fall.

Month-to-Month Changes. Percentage changes in the value of monthly U.S. freight flows by mode of transportation from July to August include the following.

Total

Canada

Mexico

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Truck

-1.1

-1.0

-0.1

+3.8

-1.8

-5.9

Rail

+17.2

+2.6

+12.6

+9.3

+23.2

-3.3

Vessel

-3.2

-16.2

+2.8

-12.2

-6.9

-18.4

Air

-5.4

-9.0

+9.2

-6.4

+1.0

-13.1

Pipeline

-12.6

-1.6

-12.6

+2.5

-25.0

-7.4

Year-on-Year Changes. The value of total U.S. trade with Canada was down 13.6 percent from August 2014 as all modes carried smaller values of freight. The DOT notes that a contributor to this decline was lower prices for mineral fuels, which are a large share of freight carried by vessel and pipeline. The value of U.S. trade with Mexico fell 1.4 percent amid losses for air, vessel and pipeline. Vehicles and parts regained their spot as the top commodity category for all modes transported between the U.S. and Canada, while the top category for U.S.-Mexico trade was again electrical machinery.

Percentage changes in the value of monthly U.S. freight flows by mode of transportation from August 2014 to August 2015 include the following.

Total

Canada

Mexico

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Truck

+3.2

-6.5

+1.9

-10.2

+4.2

-1.7

Rail

-2.9

-17.6

-12.2

-25.0

+11.4

-8.7

Vessel

-40.3

-24.6

-42.6

-37.1

-38.7

-14.4

Air

-14.9

-6.6

-21.4

-8.3

-2.2

-3.6

Pipeline

-35.9

-20.0

-36.0

-27.7

-9.0

-3.6

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