NAFTA freight rebounds in February after two months of losses
May 20, 2019
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in February trucks moved 64% of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Three of five modes, including trucks, experienced a year-to-year increase.
The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by 1.5% compared with January, when freight increased by more than 3% from the previous month.
Compared to February 2018, freight was up only 0.2% after back-to-back yearly decreases in January and December. December’s decrease broke a 25-month streak of year-to-year increases. The last year-to-year decrease before that occurred in October 2016.
In 2018, NAFTA freight increased by more than 7% compared to the previous year, with 63% of that freight carried by trucks. So far, NAFTA freight is down 0.4% for the year, with trucks hauling 65% of cross-border freight.
Trucks carried more than $60 billion of the more than $94 billion of imports and exports in February.
Year-to-year, Canada truck freight decreased by more than 2%, whereas Mexico freight rose by nearly 3%. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, motor vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, plastics, and measuring/testing instruments.
Freight totaled $94.189 billion, down more than $1.4 billion from the previous month but an increase of more than $200 million from February 2018.
Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 5.2% after an increase of 0.7% in January. Trucks had the second highest increase at 1.3%. Truck freight experienced increases of 4% in January and 1% in December. Pipeline freight had the largest decrease at 6% after reporting a significant decrease of 42% in January.
Approximately 58% of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 6%. Of the nearly $48 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 70% of the loads.