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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Trucks move majority of freight between U.S. and NAFTA partners in '06, USDOT says

Trucks last year moved the vast majority of freight exchanged between the United States and NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico — at least according to cargo value. When tallied by total weight, the freight-handling gap between truckers and railroads narrowed quite a bit.

In 2006, trucks moved freight valued at $534 billion — representing 62 percent of total cargo value — between the countries compared with $129 billion (15 percent) carried via rail, $70 billion (8 percent) via water vessel, $57 billion (7 percent) via pipeline and $36 billion (4 percent) via air, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

By total tonnage, trucks last year carried 26 percent of all freight vs. 21 percent for railroads, 35 percent for water vessels, 13 percent for pipelines and 0.1 percent for air carriers.

In 2005, trucks moved freight valued at $491 billion (62 percent of total value); railroads, $116 billion (15 percent); water vessels, $58 billion (8 percent); pipelines, $52 billion (7 percent); and air carriers, $33 billion (4 percent).

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More News from 5/17/2007