Truck freight crossing the borders slowed down in January

March 23, 2022

Tyson Fisher


The year is off to a relatively slow start regarding cross-border freight, with truck freight across the borders down slightly in January.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, cross-border freight by trucks was down about 1% in January compared with December, when truck freight crossing the borders went down by 5%. November was also a slow month for North American truck freight, resulting in a streak of month-to-month declines.

Truck freight crossing the Canadian border went down by 5% compared to December. However, cross-border freight at the U.S. southern border went up by 2%.

Top commodities for truck freight were both up and down. Cross-border freight hauling computer-related machinery/parts and vehicles dropped by 5% and 7%, respectively. However, there were increases in plastics (6%) and measuring/testing instruments (2%) freight. There was no change in electrical machinery freight.

Compared to January 2021, cross-border freight by trucks increased by 13%, continuing an 11-month streak of year-to-year increases. Truck freight crossing the borders has gone up every month since November 2020, except for a 2% decline last February.

January cross-border freight map (trucks)
Truck cross-border freight value by state compared to December. Blue states denote an increase, while orange states denote a decrease. (Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

Accounting for all modes of transportation, cross-border freight in January fell by 3% compared to the previous month when North American dropped by 2%. All freight modes except for pipeline experienced a decrease in freight value crossing the borders. Airfreight dropped the most by 18%. Pipeline freight went up by 7%.

Year-to-year, cross-border freight across all freight modes went up by nearly 21%. Freight value for all modes of transportation were up in January. Pipeline experienced the largest increase (118%) followed by vessel freight (41.5%) and airfreight (20%). Only Connecticut, New Jersey, North Dakota and Rhode Island experienced a decline in North American freight.

Over the last 12 months, freight crossing the U.S. northern border has increased by 24%. All freight crossing the Mexican border in January went up by 17% compared with a year ago. LL