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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S.-NAFTA freight movement fell in October, BTS reports

The value of commodities moved by rail in North America decreased 15.3 percent in October 2015 compared with October 2014, according to Transborder Freight Data issued last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

U.S.-North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) freight totaled $96.6 billion in October 2015, as all modes of transportation carried a lower total value of freight than a year earlier, according to a BTS press release.

October was the first month on record in which the total value of U.S.-Mexico freight flows exceeded U.S.-Canada freight flows.

Although the total freight value to and from both Canada and Mexico fell from October 2014, the decline in freight value with Canada (18.5 percent) was much larger than the decline with Mexico (1.5 percent) primarily due to the reduced unit price of crude oil, BTS officials said.

Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by all modes declined 10.7 percent, they said.

Of the $47.7 billion worth of freight moved between the United States and Canada in October 2015, 15.4 percent was moved by rail. Of the $48.9 billion worth of freight moved between the United States and Mexico during the month, rail carried 13.3 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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