BTS March U.S. freight data indicates decline from year ago

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The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released freight data for March 2016 for all modes of transit late last week.

The BTS said there were decreases in freight value carried by all modes between March 2015 and March 2016. This includes freight carried between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Most freight was carried by trucks, at 67.3 percent, between the U.S. and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico. This mode of transportation was also the one to see the least amount of change, at -1.1 percent compared with March 2015. Truck freight was valued at $31.4 billion in imports and $29.5 billion in exports.

Pipeline transit saw the greatest drop, at -33.2 percent compared with March 2015. The BTS said this can be attributed to the lingering oil-price slump. Oil is a main component of pipeline freight traffic

Rail freight transportation had the second-largest value share among all modes, with 15.5 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight value.

Automobiles and associated parts made up the largest portion of U.S.-Canada freight value, and electrical machinery made up the majority of U.S.-Mexico freight value.

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