U.S.-NAFTA trade hits record levels in October, reports BTS

By LM Staff · January 7, 2014

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico increase 4.5 percent from October 2012 to October 2013 at $103.1 billion.

BTS said this represents the first time that trade levels topped $100 billion in a month, adding that three of the five modes carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade on an annual basis in October, too, with total surface transportation trade—made up of truck, rail, and pipeline—reached an all-time high of $85.4 billion, with truck ($61.4 billion) and rail ($15.9 billion) hitting record monthly levels. The previous monthly level for total surface transportation trade was $81.7 million set in March 2013.

On an annual basis, trucks, which account for three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA Trade, were up 3.1 percent annually in October and rail was up 7.1 percent, with vessel and air down 3.6 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.  Pipelines were up significantly, with a 23.7 percent annual increase, due to the increase in oil prices and other petroleum products.

Trucks carried 59.5 percent of the $103.1 billion of U.S.-NAFTA trade in October 2013 accounting for $32.3 billion of exports and $29.0 billion of imports, said BTS.

Truck was followed by rail at 15.4 percent, vessels at 8.8 percent, pipeline at 7.8 percent and air at 3.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.8 percent of the total NAFTA freight flows, said BTS.


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