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NAFTA Freight Flows Rebound in March

Friday, May 30, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners rebounded to their second-highest level ever in March, according to statistics released April 24 by the Department of Transportation. These data show that the value of total U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico by all modes of transportation:

- surged 13.3% from February to $101.5 billion;

- rose 6.2% from March 2013, including increases of 6.3% for truck, 25.2% for pipeline (including a 71.8% gain for exports), 9.9% for vessel and 6.7% for air and a 5.2% drop for rail (despite a 2.4% gain in exports); and

 - was up 61.7% compared to March 2004, including increases of 49.1% for truck, 54.1% for rail, 187.4% for pipeline, 29.4% for air and 137.5% for vessel.

U.S.-Canada trade totaled $56.6 billion in March, up 15.7% from February and 4.2% from the previous year. The value of freight carried increased year-on-year for truck (2.7%), pipeline (25.2%, including a 95.5% gain in exports), 19.9% for vessel (where a 105.3% rise in exports offset a 7.5% drop in imports) and air (2.5%, including a 10% gain in imports) but fell 10.5% for rail.

U.S.-Mexico trade climbed to $44.9 billion in March, up 10.3% from February and 8.8% from a year earlier. Compared to March 2013, the value of freight increased for truck (10.2%), rail (3.3%), pipeline (25.7%, despite a 21.7% drop in imports), vessel (5.1%, despite a 7.8% drop in exports) and air (16.1%).

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