Falling oil prices take heavy toll on N. American freight value in October

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The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), released the total figures late last week for North American freight during October 2015.

The report said U.S.-NAFTA freight value totaled $96.6 billion for October 2015. In terms of year-over-year figures, the U.S.-NAFTA freight value fell by 10.7 percent compared with October 2014.

October 2015 is the first month available on record that shows U.S.-Mexico freight value flows outdid U.S.-Canada freight flows compared with a year ago.

The freight value for Canada fell by 18.5 percent, and the freight value for Mexico fell by 1.5 percent. Experts attributed this decline to the lower unit price for crude oil.

When comparing freight according to its mode for October 2015 and 2014, the value of commodities transported by trucks fell by 2 percent. The value of commodities transported by air freight fell by 2.1 percent. In addition, the value of commodities transported by rail fell by 15.3 percent. Pipeline-freight value fell 52 percent, and vessel-freight value fell by 35 percent, both also attributed to lower oil prices. Oil makes up a large percentage of commodities in these categories.

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Bureau of Transportation Statistics U.S. Department of Transportation

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