NAFTA surface trade down 2.9%
Month-to-month value fell 4.0% in November
Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 2.9 percent lower in November 2009 than in November 2008, dropping to $58.9 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico fell 4.0 percent in November 2009 from October 2009; month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.
U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $35.0 billion in November, down 7.2 percent compared to November 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 6.1 percent lower in November 2009 compared to November 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 1.8 percent lower. Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in November with $4.3 billion.
U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $23.9 billion in November, up 4.4 percent compared to November 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 11.5 percent higher in November 2009 compared to November 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 1.7 percent higher. Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in November with $8.2 billion.
The TransBorder Freight Data are a subset of official U.S. foreign trade statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau. New data are tabulated monthly, and historical data are not adjusted for inflation. Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline. About 88 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves on land.
Key manufacturing index surges
A key indicator of manufacturing activity in January reached its highest level since August 2004. The Institute of Supply Management’s PMI rose for the sixth straight month in January to 58.4 percent, 3.5 percentage points above the December level. A PMI above 50 percent means the manufacturing sector is expanding.
“This month’s report provides significant assurance that the manufacturing sector is in recovery,” says Norbert Ore, chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Both the New Orders and Production Indexes are above 60 percent, indicating strong current and future performance for manufacturing.”
In January, 13 of 18 industries reported growth, up from nine industries last month. “This is a good indication that the impact of the recovery is expanding,” Ore says. Another positive indicator for the future identified by the ISM survey is that inventories are continuing to shrink – as they have done for 45 consecutive months – and that customers’ inventories remain low. n
* Accelerating economic activity led FTR Associates to increase its estimates of the amount of truck freight that was moving at yearend 2009. If sustained, the stronger freight picture will result in higher truck rates and better financial results for truckers in 2010 and higher truck and trailer sales in 2011, FTR says.
* National Truck Equipment Association launched the Market Data and Industry Statistics section of NTEA.com, which provides statistics and market data ranging from the latest trends in U.S. truck sales and registrations to commodity pricing and global commercial truck market data, plus leading industry indicators and forecasts, accompanied by insight, interpretation and analysis.
* FedEx Freight and FedEx National LTL implemented 5.9 percent general rate increases effective in February. The company says the rate increases apply to interstate and intrastate less-than-truckload shipments, as well as shipments between the United States and Canada. The new rates are available at www.fedex.com/us/freight/main.
* GE Capital Fleet Services announced that its Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles Rebate Program processed $2.5 million in rebates for customers in 2009. The company also identified $256 million in savings for customers in 2009.
* January Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEMs were 6,221 units, the lowest level since July 2002, FTR Associates reported. January’s order activity was down 46.4 percent from December and was 20.1 percent lower than the same month a year ago. FTR President Eric Starks says fleets took advantage of open build slots in late 2009.