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NAFTA Freight Flows Up in April as Nearly All Modes See Gains

Friday, June 28, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners were up again in April, according to statistics released June 26 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 3.6% from March, including increases of 4.6% for truck, 1.8% for pipeline, 17.4% for vessel and 7.8% for air along with a 5.3% drop for rail;

- was up 7.4% from April 2012, including increases of 8.6% for truck, 7.3% for rail, 1.0% for vessel and 11.4% for air and a 0.5% drop for pipeline; and

- was up 66.4% compared to April 2004, including 56.9% for truck, 61.3% for rail, 132.6% for pipeline, 36.6% for air and 157.8% for vessel.

Canada. U.S.-Canada trade totaled $54.7 billion in April, up 0.7% for the month and 5.0% from the previous year. There were monthly increases in the value of freight carried by truck (0.9%), pipeline (1.4%) vessel (29.1%, including a 71.4% jump for exports) and air (5.0%) but a decline for rail shipments (3.5%). For the year ending in April the value of freight carried increased for truck (4.2%), rail (7.8%), vessel (12.6%, including a 77.3% gain in exports) and air (19.7%, including a 29.4% rise for imports) but declined for pipeline (2.1%).

Mexico. U.S.-Mexico trade rose 7.3% in April to $44.2 billion, up 10.5% from a year earlier. There were monthly increases in the value of freight carried by truck (8.6%, due mostly to a 15.5% gain in exports), pipeline (9.4%), vessel (11.7%, in which a 37.6% gain in imports offset a 15.9% drop in exports) and air (13.9%, including a 28.1% jump for imports) but a decline for rail (8.2%, despite a 6.7% gain in exports). For the year ending in April there were gains in the value of freight carried by truck (13.5%), rail (6.4%) and pipeline (41.5%, on the strength of a 44.5% gain in exports) but declines for vessel (4.5%) and air (2.3%).

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