Trucks most utilized mode in NAFTA trade in 2017, carrying 63.3%, BTS reports

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Trucks accounted for $720.8 billion of the $1.1 trillion in freight with Canada and Mexico, BTS reported. (The Trucker file photo)

All five of the U.S. major transportation modes carried more freight by value in trade with NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico in 2017 than in 2016, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported Friday.

Trucks continued to be the most utilized mode of moving cargo into and out of Canada and Mexico, carrying 63.3 percent of the freight transported.

In fact, trucks accounted for $720.8 billion of the $1.1 trillion in freight with Canada and Mexico, BTS reported.

A 17.3 percent increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil in 2017 played a key role in the annual increases in the dollar value of goods shipped by pipeline, up 31.3 percent, and vessel, up 29.6 percent.

As a result, the share of freight moved by other modes decreased: air by 0.1 percent; rail by 0.2 percent and truck by 2.2 percent.

Trucks carried 60.2 percent of the $614.0 billion of goods imported from Canada and Mexico in 2017 at 18.5 percent; pipeline at 8.4 percent; vessel by 6.4 percent and air, 3.1 percent.

The value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 7.1 percent to $582.4 billion, with trucks carrying 57.7 percent.

And although trucks carried the largest share of U.S.-Canada freight by value in 2017, its share of the total decreased by 2.4 percentage points, BTS noted.

Trucks hauled 50.1 percent of the $300 billion in goods imported from Canada in 2017, followed by rail at 20.6 percent; pipeline at 17.2 percent; vessel at 5.0 percent and air at 3.8 percent.

The top category of freight transported between the U.S. and Canada in 2017 was vehicle parts worth $107.4 billion. BTS said $60.7 billion or 56.7 percent, moved by truck and $43.7 billion or 40.7 percent moved by rail.

In trade with Mexico, the value of goods transported increased 6.1 percent to $557 billion, with trucks carrying 69.1 percent followed by rail at 14.4 percent; vessel, 9.5 percent; air, 3 percent and pipeline .7 percent.

Trucks carried the largest share of U.S.-Mexico freight in 2017 at 69.1 percent, although year-over-year, that was down 1.9 percent from 2016.

Trucks carried 69.9 percent of the $314 billion in goods imported from Mexico in 2017, followed by rail at 16.5 percent; vessel at 7.8 percent; air at 2.4 percent and pipeline at 0.1 percent.

In goods exported to Mexico in 2017, trucks carried 68 percent of the total $243 billion, followed by vessel, 11.6 percent; rail, 11.5 percent; air, 3.8 percent; and pipeline, 1.4 percent.

The top commodity hauled between the U.S. and Mexico last year was vehicles and parts totaling $104.8 billion, with $48.9 billion or 46.7 percent moved by truck and $44.7 billion or 42.7 percent moved by rail.

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