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North America freight numbers in 2016

Updated on 29 Dec 2023
2 min read
Ocean FCL
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North America freight numbers in 2016

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%.

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US – Canada freight

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.

US – Mexico freight

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:


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