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U.S.-Canada Freight Flows Fall Below U.S.-Mexico Level

Posted: January 11, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A measure of freight moving between the U.S. and its neighbors to the north and south shows for the first time the total value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows exceeded those between the U.S. and Canada.

According to new U.S. Transportation Department figures, the value of U.S.-Canada freight totaled US$47.7 billion in October 2015, down 18.5 percent from October 2014, the largest drop since the 19.4 percent decline between October 2008 and October 2009.

This compares to the value of U.S.-Mexico freight totaling US$48.9 billion in October 2015, down 1.5 percent from October 2014, as two out of the five transportation modes, air and truck, carried more U.S.-Mexico freight than in October 2014.

Although the total freight value freight moving to and from both Canada and Mexico with the U.S. fell from October 2014, the decline in freight value with Canada was primarily due to the reduced price of crude oil, according to the report.

Trucks carried 61.2 percent of the freight to and from Canada, followed by rail, 15.4 percent; pipeline, 7.3 percent; air, 4.9 percent; and vessel, 4.1 percent.

The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.9 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

In October, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by all modes was vehicles and parts, of which US$5.7 billion, or 62.1 percent, moved by truck and US$3.2 billion, or 35.6 percent, moved by rail.

The value of U.S.- Canada and Mexico freight totaled US$96.6 billion in October 2015 as all modes of transportation carried a lower total value of freight than a year earlier.

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