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NAFTA Freight Flows Up in March but Down from Previous Year

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners were up in March after a small drop in February, according to statistics released May 29 by the Department of Transportation. These statistics show that the value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico by all modes of transportation:

- rose 8.0% from February, including increases of 9.7% for truck, 17.0% for rail and 9.1% for air along with declines of 2.3% for pipeline and 9.9% for vessel;

- was down 4.0% from March 2012, including decreases of 4.1% for truck, 8.7% for pipeline, 20.4% for vessel and 10.7% for air along with a 7.8% increase for rail; and

- was up 52.3% compared to March 2004, including 40.2% for truck, 62.6% for rail, 129.5% for pipeline, 21.2% for air and 116.1% for vessel.

Canada. U.S.-Canada trade totaled $54.3 billion in March, up 11.2% for the month but down 2.0% from the previous year. There were monthly increases in the value of freight carried by truck (12.6%), rail (17.1%) and air (13.6%) but decreases for pipeline (3.0%) and vessel (1.6%). For the year ending in March there was a rise in the value of freight carried by rail (6.5%) but declines for truck (3.1%), pipeline (9.1%), vessel (8.3%) and air (6.5%).

Mexico. U.S.-Mexico trade rose 4.2% in March to $41.2 billion, a 6.4% drop from a year earlier. There were monthly increases in the value of freight carried by truck (6.8%), rail (16.7%), pipeline (12.4%) and air (0.5%) but a decrease for vessel (13.4%). For the year ending in March there was a gain in the value of freight carried by rail (10.1%) but declines for truck (5.1%), pipeline (0.1%), vessel (25.2%) and air (18.7%).

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