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US Transborder Truck Freight Jumps 13% in January

Noël Fletcher | Transport Topics

Mar 23, 2023

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North American transborder truck freight in January jumped nearly 13% from the same month last year, with solid increases in total goods traded both with Canada and Mexico, according to new Bureau of Transportation Statistics figures released March 22.

In overall freight values, trucking captured $77 billion. That represented the bulk of the total $125.8 billion of transborder freight moved by all modes of transportation, BTS figures noted for January. Truck trade across the U.S.-Mexico border accounted for $44.7 billion.

The top three truck commodities in U.S.-Mexico trade were electrical machinery ($10 billion), computers/parts ($9 billion) and vehicles/parts ($6.3 billion).

Trucks trading between the U.S. and Canada moved $33 billion worth of cargo in both directions during January. The busiest Canadian ports of entry were Detroit ($10.2 billion), Buffalo, N.Y. ($5.4 billion) and Port Huron, Mich., ($5.3 billion). The top truck cargo categories were computers/parts ($5.6 billion), vehicles/parts ($4.8 billion) and electrical machinery ($2.3 billion).

Separately, a March 15 BTS analysis of U.S. transborder trade with its North American partners during the pandemic indicated freight activity recovered last year from pandemic-era 2020 lows.

In 2019, before the pandemic, the U.S. notched $1.2 trillion in trade with Canada and Mexico, of which trucks handled $772 billion. Although freight traffic was not affected by pandemic-related border closures, overall economic activity slowed in 2020 after pandemic lockdowns in all three nations. From 2019 to 2020, the value of total trade with Canada and Mexico declined 13.3% to $1 trillion — with the value of truck cargo falling to $694 billion.

A rebound started in 2021 as U.S. North American trade moved up to $1.2 trillion ($827 million from trucks).

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