Of the five main freight transportation methods (truck, rail, pipeline, vessel, and air) in the US, rail is the only one to register an increase (0.2%) in 2016. In total, the value of all cross-border cargo movement between the US and its NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) partners Canada and Mexico fell 3.4% to $1.069 trillion.
Trucks remain the most popular mode for transporting goods to and from Canada and Mexico, accounting for a massive 65.5% of the US-NAFTA trade. Rail follows with 15.5%, ocean freight with 5.5%, pipeline with 4.6% and air with 3.9%.
Freight flows between the US and Canada fell 5.4% from 2015 to $544 billion with trucks transporting 60.1% of this trade. Of the 50 states, the state of Michigan handled the most freight, up 3.9% to $71.8 billion. The top commodity category transported was vehicles and parts, registering over $106 billion. Of this, over 56% was transported by trucks.
Overall freight trade between the US and Mexico also saw a dip of -1.1% to $525.1 billion. Again, trucks transported 71% of this freight, followed by rail with 14.7%. The top trading state with Mexico is Texas, with $173.7 billion. Overall, the top commodity transported between the US and Mexico was electrical machinery, with a value of $102.6 billion.
For a more visual view, here’s an infographic on the 2016 North America freight numbers: