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U.S.-Canada Freight Falls By Double Digits

From July 2015 to July 2016, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows fell 10.7% to $42.4 billion as all modes of transportation carried a lower value of U.S.-Canada freight than a year earlier, according to new U.S. Transportation Department figures.

The total value of truck freight moved between the two countries fell 7.2%. The value of truck imports fell 5% and exports fell 9%.

Lower crude oil prices contributed to the decline in the value of freight moved between the U.S. and Canada. Crude oil is a large share of freight carried by pipeline and vessel, which fell 28% and 37.1%, respectively, year-over-year.

In July 2016, the top commodity category transported between the U.S. and Canada by all modes was vehicles and parts, of which $4.1 billion, or 57.2%, moved by truck and $2.9 billion, or 40.2%, moved by rail.

Trucks carried 59.7% of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 15.7% followed by pipeline, 8.8%; air, 5%; and vessel, 3.7%. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.3% of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.

Overall, across all three NAFTA nations, the $83.7 billion in July 2016 cross-border freight is the lowest monthly amount since February 2011, which had $76.7 billion in cross-border freight.

July also marks 19th consecutive month that the total value of U.S. freight with NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico declined from the same month of the previous year.

Overall, the value of commodities moving by truck fell by 8.8% as rail increased 0.9%. Also falling is air freight by 6.4%, vessel by 25.1% and pipeline by 26.9%. Truck freight imports fell by 7.3% while exports declined by a larger 10.3%.

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