US-Mexico truck freight down 11% in August

Trucks accounted for 70.5% of all freight between the US and Mexico in August

Trucks moved $33 billion in freight between the United States and Mexico in August, a 10.9% decrease compared to the same period last year.

According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), trucks were still the dominant mode of transport for freight along the southern border, accounting for 70.5% of all goods moved in August.

Total cross-border freight by mode:

  • Truck $33 billion
  • Rail $6.5 billion
  • Maritime vessels $4.3 billion
  • Air cargo $1.2 billion
  • Pipeline $400 million

The three busiest truck border ports in the U.S. in August were Laredo, Texas ($14.6 billion), Detroit ($8.9 billion) and Buffalo-Niagara, New York ($4.7 billion), accounting for 46.3% of total cross-border truck freight.

FreightWaves Sonar platform shows that outbound tender volume in Laredo (OTVI.LRD) increased moderately from a week ago and rose from last year. Truck volumes through October were down compared to August, when cross-border freight surged ahead of Labor Day.

Outbound tender rejections in Laredo (OTRI.LRD) have also climbed slightly since last week, putting upward pressure on trucking rates.

FreightWaves SONAR platform (OTRI.LRD) (OTVI.LRD).

The top three cross-border truck commodities in August were computers and parts ($11.6 billion), electrical machinery ($9.6 billion) and vehicles and parts ($8.8 billion). They accounted for 49.1% of total cross-border truck freight between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Rail freight between the U.S. and Mexico in August totaled $6.5 billion, accounting for 13.9% of all southern border freight.

The three busiest rail border ports in the U.S. were Laredo ($3.5 billion), Detroit ($2.3 billion) and Eagle Pass, Texas ($2 billion). 

The top three cross-border rail commodities in August were motor vehicles and parts ($7.2 billion), computers and parts ($800 million) and plastics ($700 million). They accounted for 62.7% of total cross-border rail freight.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

What a Trump or Biden win means for Mexico trade

Rail blockade ends in Mexico

$1 billion Mexico-Canada rail link proposed

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact