The U.S. is exporting a little over half of what it imports by rail from North American Free Trade Agreement partners Mexico and Canada, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The value of U.S. rail exports to the rest of NAFTA inched down 1 percent year-over-year and 3.8 percent month-to-month to $4.52 billion in January 2013. In 2012 rail export value soared 11.5 percent over 2011.
The value of U.S. imports by rail from its NAFTA partners in January increased 8.2 percent year-over-year to $8.39 billion; this was down 6.9 percent from the level seen in December 2012. In 2012 rail import value was up 9.7 percent from 2011.
The value of imports by truck grew 1.6 percent in January over the year before to $25.68 billion, which was 10.5 percent than the value imported in December 2012. The value of imports by truck rose just over 6 percent year-over-year in 2012.
U.S. exports by truck rose 4.3 percent in terms of value to $28 billion, up from $26.87 billion in January 2012. The value of exports by truck was also up 13 percent over the level seen in December 2012. The value for the entire year was up 6.4 percent over the level seen in 2011.
BTS noted: “In 2012, 86.5 percent of U.S. merchandise trade by value with Canada and Mexico entered or exited the country by the surface mode of transportation.”