The value of freight shipped in North America rose 0.4% to $87.1 billion in December from the same month in 2015, with three out of the top five modes of transportation delivering more freight by value with Canada and Mexico, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, than in the same month in 2015, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The rise was the third one in the past five months.
“The value of commodities moving by pipeline rose 30.9%, vessel by 2% and rail by 0.9%,” according to BTS. “Air decreased by 1.4% and truck by 2%.” The rise in pipeline was largely because of a “40% increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil between December 2015 and December 2016.”
As the largest transportation mode, trucks carried 61.9% of U.S.-NAFTA freight and accounted for 58.6%, or $27.4 billion of the $46.8 billion of imports, and 65.6%, or $26.4 billion of the $40.3 billion in exports. Rail, the second largest transportation mode by value, moved 15.2% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight; vessel, 6.5%; pipeline, 6.1%; and air, 4.2%. Truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.1% of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight.
The value of freight between Canada and the United States fell 1.2% to $44.5 billion in December 2016, from the same month in 2015. Freight value for truck fell 2.1%; by rail, 5.4%; and by vessel, 20.8%. Commodities moved via pipeline rose 28.7%, “reflecting the increased value of mineral fuels year over year,” according to BTS. “Air increased by 1.1%.” Over the past 12 months, mineral fuel freight shifted to pipeline from vessel “as the value of mineral fuel shipments carried by vessel between Texas and Canada decreased while the value of pipeline shipments rose.” Trucks hauled 56.7% of the value of freight between the United States and Canada; rail, 15.2%; pipeline, 11%; air, 5%; and vessel, 3.6%. Truck, rail and pipeline delivered 82.9% of the total value between the United States and Canada.
The value of freight carried between Mexico and the United States rose 2.1% to $42.6 billion. Pipeline increased by 66.1%, by vessel, 14.9%; by rail, 8.4%. Truck fell by 1.9% and air by 5.2%. Trucks hauled 67.2% of the value of freight between the United States and Mexico; rail, 15.2%; vessel, 9.6%; air, 3.4%; pipeline 0.9%. Trucks, rail and pipeline shipped 83.3% of the value between the United States and Mexico.