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NAFTA Monthly Freight Flow Values Plummet to Five-Year Low

Monday, September 26, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The value of monthly freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners fell 9.7 percent from June to July to $83.7 billion, the lowest monthly amount since February 2011, according to statistics released Sept. 22 by the Department of Transportation.

The value of NAFTA freight flows was also down 10 percent from a year earlier. The value of total U.S. trade with Canada fell 10.7 percent from July 2015 as all modes of transportation carried a lower value of freight than a year earlier. Lower prices for crude oil, which is a large share of freight carried by pipeline and vessel, contributed to this decrease. The value of U.S. trade with Mexico fell 9.2 percent as all modes except rail carried a lower value of freight.

Vehicles and parts retained their spot as the top commodity category for all modes transported between the U.S. and Canada, while electrical machinery stayed in the top spot in U.S.-Mexico trade.

Percentage changes in the value of monthly U.S. freight flows by mode of transportation from July 2015 to July 2016 include the following.

 

Total

Canada

Mexico

 

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Imports

Exports

Truck

-7.3

-10.3

-5.0

-9.0

-8.9

-11.7

Rail

+2.2

-1.3

-7.2

+9.2

+14.6

-10.5

Vessel

-14.9

-34.3

-16.8

-56.3

-13.7

-22.1

Air

-2.0

-9.5

-3.1

-6.9

-0.2

-13.7

Pipeline

-37.5

+29.0

-37.4

+56.1

-37.7

-10.4

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