Trucks carry the bulk of the load as NAFTA trade continues to increase

| 4/1/2005

Truckers are carrying the lion’s share of U.S. imports and exports to Canada and Mexico as surface trade continues to increase under NAFTA.

The most recent statistics available are for January 2005 and show a 14.6 percent overall increase in surface trade with the other two North American countries compared to January 2004, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Based on the value of the cargo, about 90 percent of all trade between the United States and its two partners in NAFTA travels on land via truck, rail and pipeline. The trucks carry the largest load, importing more than three times the amount as rail and five times as much as pipelines.

Big rigs are also hauling the greatest portion of exports to Canada and Mexico, with a 12.5 percent increase in January this year compared with January 2004.

Overall, the United States traded $52.3 billion in goods via surface transportation in January this year, compared with almost $45.7 billion in January of 2004. Compared to January 1995, surface trade with Mexico and Canada has increased 79 percent.