Wednesday, June 1, 2011

North American Road and Rail Freight Figures Break Record

US Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Tops $80 Billion for First Time
Shipping News Feature

USA / MEXICO / CANADA – According to figures released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico in March 2011 reached $80.8 billion, the highest monthly trade figure since the collection of data on surface transportation between the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners began in 1994.

The new figure beats the previous record set in April 2008 by 8.8 percent and is 15.6 percent higher than last March’s figure of just shy of $70 billion.

According to the BTS, U.S. surface transportation trade - which includes road and rail freight, pipeline and mail shipments – with Canada and Mexico in March has increased by 58.3 percent by value since March 2009, as well as being up by 14.2 percent from the start of the recession in March 2008.

The March figures were also up by 21.5 percent from February’s figure of $66.5 billion, though seasonal variance influences these figures.

As over 85 percent of U.S. trade by value with Mexico and Canada is moved overland the increase has translated into better returns for NAFTA road freight operators, with this sector carrying $5.7 billion worth of trade in March 2011, up from $4.9 billion for the same period last year.

Rail operators have also seen an increase between March’s 2010 and ‘11 – from $1.2 billion to over £1.3 billion.

The figures are a good sign the future of the NAFTA countries road and rail freight sectors as the increased trade translates into expanding demand for logistics industries that have been sorely tried in the last few years.