Trucks carry smaller share of NAFTA freight in 2017 but still haul most of it

March 20, 2018

Land Line Staff


As negotiators continue to determine the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement, freight between the three countries has been strong. According to stats recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the share of freight moved by trucks in 2017 fell from the previous year but still accounted for the majority of North American freight.

Per usual, trucks carried the most freight coming in and out of Canada and Mexico at more than 63 percent in 2017, down more than 2 percent from 2016. Rail came in at second at 15.3 percent (down 0.2 percent), followed by vessel at 6.6 percent (up 1.2 percent), pipeline at 5.7 percent (up 1.1 percent) and air at 3.8 percent (down 0.1 percent).

In total, nearly $1.4 trillion of North American freight was carried in 2017, up 6.6 percent. In Canada, U.S. freight flow increased more than 7 percent to $582.4 billion. Mexican freight totaled to $557 billion, an increase of more than 6 percent.

Trucks carried nearly 58 percent of Canadian freight, down 2.4 percent from 2016. Nearly 70 percent of Mexican freight was hauled by trucks, down nearly 2 percent.

More Canadian freight moved through Michigan than any other state at a total of nearly $223 billion, up more than 5 percent. New York carried the second most at $117 billion, down 2.5 percent. More than $390 billion of Mexican freight moved through Texas, up nearly 7 percent, followed by California at $66 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent from the previous year.

Vehicles and parts were the top commodity between the U.S. and Canada, with trucks carrying 56.5 percent of the $107.4 billion value. Meanwhile with Mexico, the top commodity in 2017 was also vehicles and parts, which 46.7 percent of the $104.8 billion was carried by trucks.