Freight movement among the United States, Canada and Mexico — partners in the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — hit $98.6 billion in May, a 1.8 percent year-over-year increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
In May, imports totaled $52.9 billion and imports totaled $45.7 billion, both slight decreases from April’s totals but increases when compared to May 2012. The total result is a slight decline from April’s total trade of $98.9 billion, but is a significant climb from the $95.6 billon worth of trade in March and February’s $88.4 billion.
Trucks carried the vast majority of the freight among the three countries, accounting for 60.8 percent of the transport, with rail carrying 15.1 percent, vessels transporting 8.6 percent and air moving 3.9 percent.
Between the United States and Canada, trucks transported $30.3 billion of the $54.8 billion in trade, a 1.5 percent decrease from the same period in 2012. Trade by vessel increased the most in May, rising by 19.3 percent; rail trade between the two countries rose in May by 10.5 percent finishing the month at $9.05 billion. By air, activity ticked up by 6.4 percent to $2.5 billion. Michigan, Illinois and California remained the top traders with Canada.
Between the two countries, non-railway vehicles were the top commodities transported by truck and rail, with vessels transporting the most mineral fuels. Pearls, stones and metals took to the skies.
Trade between the United States and Mexico totaled $43.8 billion in May, a 0.9 percent rise compared to May 2012, but a 1 percent decrease over April. Again, trucks were the major method of transport, carrying $29.7 billion worth of goods. Rail and vessel activity finished the month at $5.9 billion and $5 billion, respectively. A little more than $1.3 billion worth of goods took to the air in May. The top trucked commodity was electrical machinery, with non-rail vehicles traveling by rail. Mineral fuels traveled by vessel, and electrical machinery was top flown commodity between the United States and Mexico. Texas, California and Michigan remained Mexico’s top trading partners. - Jon Ross