Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Deliveries On Track:

Cross-border rail picking up steam, but still has a long way to go.

Deliveries between the U.S. and Canada, and between the U.S. and Mexico, are showing a tremendous gain in rail and intermodal, with “on-track” deliveries increasing much faster than shipping by truck.

Rail shipments by value over the U.S.–Canada border increased 8.6 percent year-over-year in March, while the value of goods hauled by trucks increased by just one percent over the same period, said the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Between the U.S. and Mexico, rail shipments rose 16 percent in value, versus 11 percent for trucking. Overall, though, trucks still haul more than three times the value of goods across our Canadian border than the railroads, and more than five times as much over the Mexican border.

The Canadian rail increase is partly fueled by the increased shipment of U.S.-bound containers through Canadian ports. In Mexico, billion-dollar improvements in rail infrastructure have coincided with the growth of Mexican factory production, as manufacturers shift work from Asia to offset rising labor and transportation costs.

Covering both modes, U.S. surface transportation with Canada and Mexico hit a monthly record in March, topping $85 billion. Canadian numbers for May rail shipments will drop due to the just-ended Canadian Pacific Railway strike, but the increasing trend is strong.

Maybe it is time for you to make tracks over the border.

Kirk Shearer
800-989-0054 x103

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