Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Transborder Freight Value Down in February

May 8, 2021

The value of transborder freight moving by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico in February was $12.8 billion, down 7.5 percent compared with January’s level and down 10.8 percent compared with February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

BTS said the decrease in rail between 2021 and 2020 was primarily due to a decline in motor vehicles and parts, the largest commodity moved across the border by rail.

The value of freight moved by all transportation modes among the three countries in February totaled $95.9 billion, up 1.7 percent compared to January, but down 0.1 percent compared to February 2020.

Freight moved by rail represented 13.4 percent of all transborder freight during February.

Between the United States and Canada freight moving by rail was worth $7.3 billion, down 1.2 percent from a year ago.

The value of freight moving by rail between the United States and Mexico in February was worth $5.6 billion, down 20.8 percent year over year.

Transborder Freight Fell in 2020

March 11, 2021

Freight moving among the United States, Canada and Mexico fell 13.3 percent in 2020  to $1.06 trillion the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said this week.

The comparison was with calendar year 2019. In a news release, BTS said total transborder freight in fell every month from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic until rising 0.4 percent in December.

Rail was the second-most used mode, handling $148 billion worth of freight in 2020, a 16.9 percent decrease compared with 2019’s level.

The value of freight moved by rail last year between the United States and Canada was $79 billion, down 18.3 percent, while the value of freight moved by rail between the United States and Mexico was $70 billion, down 15.3 percent.

The top three rail commodities in 2020, which represented 58.9 percent of transborder rail freight, were motor vehicles and parts, valued at $69 billion; mineral fuels, $10 billion; and plastics, $8 billion.

Value of Transborder Freight Rose in December

March 4, 2021

The value of transborder freight moving by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico increased 1.6 percent to $14.1 billion worth of goods in December 2020 compared with November 2020 the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported.

In a news release, BTS said that on a year-over-year basis, freight moved by rail in December decreased 2 percent in value.

The value of freight moved by all modes of transportation in December totaled $96.8 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to the previous month and a gain of 0.4 percent compared  to the same month in 2019.

Rail was the second-most-used mode in December as measured by value, accounting for 14.6 percent of all transborder freight.

In December, $7.4 billion worth of freight was moved by rail between the United States and Canada, up 1.9 percent compared with the previous month but a decline of 7.4 percent compared with the same month in 2019.

The value of freight moving between the U.S. and Mexico was $6.8 billion, up 1.3 percent compared with the previous month and up 4.7 percent compared with December 2019.

Transborder Freight Dropped 3.7% in November

January 30, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said this week that the value of transborder freight moved by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico decreased 3.7 percent to $13.9 billion worth of goods last November.

The comparison was with October 2020. On a year-over-year comparison, freight moved by rail in November 2020 was 0.8 percent less than in November 2012.

The value of freight moved by all modes of transportation among the three nations in November totaled $95.9 billion, down 6.1 percent compared with October and 3.2 percent compared with November 2019.

Rail was the second-most used mode in November as measured by value, making up 14.5 percent of all transborder freight.

In November, $7.2 billion worth of freight was moved by rail between the United States and Canada, down 5 percent compared with October but up 0.9 percent compared with the same month in 2019.

Between the U.S. and Mexico $6.7 billion worth of freight moved by rail, which was down 2.3 percent compared with October and down 2.5 percent compared with November 2019.

Trans-border Freight Fell in June

August 27, 2020

Trans-border freight the United States and Canada and Mexico fell 20.9 percent to $82.1 billion worth of goods in June compared with June 2019 levels the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said this week.

The figure represents freight moving by all modes of transportation.

Rail was the second-most used mode, handling $11.2 billion worth of goods during the month.

That figure was a decline of 29 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The bureau said rail represented 13.7 percent of all trans-border freight moved in June.

Compared with May, the $82.1 billion worth of goods moved by all modes rose 46.3 percent in June. For rail, the increase was 105 percent.

Year over year, freight moved by rail between the United States and Canada plunged 33.5 percent to $5.7 billion worth of goods in June.

Freight moved by rail between the United States and Mexico fell 23.6 percent to $5.6 billion worth of goods.

The top three rail commodities were motor vehicles and parts, worth $5.6 billion; computers and parts, worth $600 million; and plastics, worth $600 million.

Those top three commodities represented 60.7 percent of the total trans-border freight moved by rail.

Mexico Joins Rail Safety Week 2020

April 29, 2020

Rail Safety Week will observed this year in the United States, Canada and Mexico between Sept. 21-27.

It will be the first time that the Asociación Mexicana de Ferrocarriles (Mexican Association of Railroads—AMF) will join its U.S. and Canadian counterparts.

The week is designed to support the public awareness initiative to encourage drivers and pedestrians to practice safe behavior near railroad tracks.

OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh said digital and downloadable versions of a report detailing results of the U.S. 2019 Rail Safety Week efforts are now available.

A centerpiece of Rail Safety Week since 2018 is the #STOPTrackTragedies campaign, which features videos telling the stories of people affected by rail crossing and trespassing incidents.

“Our 2020 Rail Safety Week efforts will be led by state coordinators across the U.S. to highlight crossing safety and rail trespass prevention in high-incident areas,” said Maleh.

“We’re excited to coordinate with Operation Lifesaver Canada and now, the AMF, through events, social media, news media outreach and paid marketing efforts.”

AAR Warns Tariffs Would Harm Railroads

April 17, 2018

The Association of American Railroads is warning that tariffs on foreign goods could adversely affect U.S. grain exports, which in turn would be bad for Class 1 railroads.

 “For the industry whose job is to connect businesses, the integration of the global supply chain changed the game not just for our customers but also for how we run a railroad,” AAR said in a statement in response to the Trump administration recently announcing billions of dollars worth of punitive tariffs on Chinese-made products.

The administration has described the tariffs as a way to address what it terms unfair trade practices by China.

The tariffs on Chinese goods have not yet gone into effect and the threat of a trade war has sent stock prices plunging in recent weeks.

AAR released an analysis that showed international trade directly accounts for 42 percent of rail carloads and intermodal units, 35 percent of annual rail revenue, and 50,000 rail jobs worth more than $5.5 billion in annual wages and benefits.

“With ongoing trade posturing, much of the discussion of potential impacts has been narrowly focused on targeted commodities or whether the states where those goods are grown or produced went red or blue in 2016,” the AAR said. “Even when looking at a single commodity, the potential effect in a global market goes much deeper.”

Speaking of grain exports, AAR said farmers are accustomed to dealing with uncertainty due to weather or fluctuating prices and demand,  but “[t]hrowing questions about what foreign markets will resemble come harvest makes already challenging planting decisions even more fraught.”

AAR said that its members are caught in the middle in trying to plan for asset allocation “when they don’t know if their services will be needed.”

The AAR said rail revenue from grain totals more than $5 billion annually.

Mexico is the second-largest importer of corn whereas China purchases 62 percent of soy exports and 22 percent of sorghum exports.

Most agricultural products exported to China begin their journey in a rail car.

U.S. Railroads Expect to Benefit From Increase in Auto Maker Manufacturing Capacity in Mexico

March 10, 2016

With U.S. auto makers seen as likely to increase vehicle production in Mexico and that is likely to be good news for U.S. railroads.

Although many of those vehicles will be built for export markets that do not include the United States and Canada, analysts expect U.S. railroads to see increased traffic in parts used to make vehicles as well as the finished vehicles.

Larry Gross, who is president of his own consulting business, told Trains magazine that a substantial number of the vehicles being built in Mexico are expected to move north by rail.

train image2Railroads also could benefit from hauling parts destined for the Mexican assembly plants.

Although this might seem to be a boost for railroad intermodal business, Gross said the complication is that moving the parts would involve two railroads working together which often do not work well together.

Nonetheless, some agreements have been worked out, including one involving BNSF and Ferromex (Ferrocarril Mexicano, FXE) to move auto parts in containers between Chicago via El Paso, Texas, to an assembly plants near Mexico City at which Volkswagen builds engines and General Motors assembles engines, transmissions and Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks.

The latest figures, which are from 2014, show that $73.5 billion in exports and imports moved by rail from Mexico to the United States.

Most of this traffic – more than half of which was vehicles and parts – was interchanged at gateways in Nogales, Arizona; Lardeo, Texas; and El Paso.

The statistics show that trucks handled about six times the business handled by railroads.

Trucks are not the only competitor for the railroads. “There is potential competition from ocean movement of vehicles, particularly into the East Coast,” Gross said. “How smoothly rail can flow across the border will be a key factor.”

Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner behind China and Canada. Auto production in Mexico began to accelerate after the 1992 adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Auto analyst Jim Gillette said that auto production in Mexico is expected to soon reach three million vehicles per year.

Auto makers are eyeing markets in South American and Europe for the vehicles they build in Mexico.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Ford Motor Company plans to open a new assembly plant in the Mexican state of San Luís Potosí in 2018 that combined with an existing factory near Mexico City would have a production capacity for 500,000 more vehicles annually.

The WSJ report said that three-quarters of Ford’s production would still be in the United States. More than a year ago General Motors said it would double its manufacturing capacity in Mexico.

A wide range of brands, including Fiat, Lincoln and BMW, are built in central Mexico.

Lower labor costs are often cited for moving production south of the border, but U.S. companies have also said that the quality of the work of the Mexican assembly plants has met and sometimes exceeded domestic U.S. quality standards.

A Detroit Free Press report said that despite the increase in production in Mexico about two-thirds of new vehicles built in North America will be assembled in the United States.

The report said that the rise in production in Mexico is expected to come at the expense of auto manufacturing in Canada.