The Bureau of Transportation Statistics released its March North American Transborder Freight Numbers on Wednesday, and unsurprisingly, volumes are down.
Carriers still managed to haul $98.8 billion USD worth of goods across the North American border, but all in all, freight was worth 7.9% less than in March of last year.
Trucks hauled two thirds of freight, shipping $62.6 billion USD over a border, while rail moved $15.0 billion USD. Both modes saw freight value fall by more than 7.0% since March 2019.
Trucks moved $27.9 billion in freight between Canada and the United States, or 57.3% of all northern border freight. This was a 9.8% decline since last year. At the same time, truckers hauled $34.7 billion worth of goods between the United States and Mexico, down 4.7% annually. Rail moved $7.9 billion USD worth of goods between the United States and Canada, and $7.0 billion USD between the United States and Mexico. Air, vessel, and pipeline accounted for less than $5 billion USD each across both borders.
Transborder freight grew by 2.9% since February 2020 and rose to its highest level since November 2019. The likely explanation for this is the holiday season, winter weather, and a shorter month in February lowering freight levels at the end of 2019 Q4 and beginning of 2020 Q1. What the data tells us is that freight was starting to rebound, until Covid-19 showed up. Hopefully, with states beginning to reopen, freight continues to see a recovery.