Trade using surface transportation modes between Canada, the US and Mexico increased by 6.2 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, valued at $960 billion – the highest total since NAFTA began in 1994, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the US Department of Transportation.
The value of US-Canada surface trade declined 28 percent in 2009 from 2008, and then increased by 44.2 percent in the next three years to reach a level in 2012 that was only 3.6% higher than in 2008.
As a result, US-Mexico trade now comprised 42.1 percent of North American surface freight trade in 2012, compared to 35.3 percent in 2008.
US-Canada surface transportation trade totalled $556.2 billion in 2012, an increase of 3.6% compared to 2011.
Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in 2012 with $73.3 billion and vehicle parts accounted for $45.2 billion, 61.7% of total Michigan-Canada surface trade. Of the top 10 states for US-Canada surface trade in 2012, California had the highest percentage change over 2011, a 16.5% increase. The increase in California-Canada surface trade was led by a 41.5% increase in vehicles and vehicle parts, the largest commodity by value in California-Canada surface trade.
The top commodity category overall transported between the US and Canada by surface modes of transportation in 2012 was vehicles and vehicle parts (other than railway vehicles and parts) with $107.4 billion in trade.
US-Canada trade of this commodity group was split roughly even between exports and imports, reflecting the interdependency of automotive plants on both sides of the border.