Canada-U.S. Surface Trade Rises, Vehicles Largest Commodity

North American Surface Freight by Mode, 2012. SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transborder Freight Data.

WASHINGTON — Canada and U.S. trade using surface transportation was $556.2 billion in 2012 — a 3.6 percent increase over 2011, according to the United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

Surface trade using truck increased 6.3 percent (including both imports and exports) over 2011. Rail came in with the largest year-to-year increase, while pipeline imports and exports dropped.

The state that led surface trade with Canada was Michigan with a total of $73.3 billion. Vehicles and vehicle parts made up for the majority of that number with $45.2 billion. California had the highest percentage change of surface trade with Canada — a 16.5 percent increase — also led by vehicles and vehicle parts, notably.

In fact, the top commodity category overall transported between the U.S. and Canada by surface modes of transportation in 2012 was vehicles and vehicle parts with $107.4 billion in trade. The commodity group was split evenly between exports and imports, BTS noted, “reflecting the interdependency of automotive plants on both sides of the border.”

Overall, trade using surface transportation between the U.S., Canada and Mexico increased 6.2 percent in 2012 over 2011.

Recession comparison? Total North American surface transportation trade is up by 50.8 percent since 2009’s low.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.