Mexico Remains Top U.S. Trade Partner in July, Laredo Named No. 1 Gateway

Mexico continues to solidify its position as the top trade partner of the United States, with a 0.24% year-over-year increase in July, totaling $65.3 billion. This marks the seventh time in the past eight months that Mexico has ranked as the No. 1 trading partner with the U.S. in terms of international commerce. Year to date, Mexico’s trade with the U.S. is valued at $462 billion, surpassing Canada ($450.3 billion) and China ($322.3 billion). If Mexico maintains its position for the rest of 2023, it would be only the second time in history that the country has achieved this feat. The manufacturing sector in Mexico has seen significant growth, with almost $10 billion in foreign direct investments in the first eight months of 2023. Nearshoring of manufacturing to Mexico is helping to boost cross-border trade with the U.S.

Laredo, Texas, retained its position as the No. 1 gateway for international trade in the U.S. for the sixth consecutive month, recording $26.1 billion in trade in July. The Port of Los Angeles and Chicago O’Hare International Airport ranked second and third, respectively. However, as nearshoring efforts in Mexico increase, there are signs of growing pains. Rising diesel costs, Mexican driver shortages, cargo theft, and the depreciation of the dollar/peso conversion have contributed to increased shipping costs. Rates for shipments crossing the Texas-Mexico border averaged $3.08 per mile, compared to the U.S. domestic average of $2.09.

In other news, Mexico’s monthly truck production and exports declined in August after seven consecutive months of growth. The production of heavy-duty trucks decreased by 3.9% year-on-year to 19,413 units, while exports fell by 15% to 15,114. However, this decline is not indicative of a slowing market, according to ANPACT President Miguel Elizalde.

Maersk, the container shipping giant, has partnered with Fabric to open an automated e-commerce center in Dallas. The 38,000-square-foot facility features AI-driven, automated fulfillment solutions aimed at maximizing warehouse productivity and reducing real estate footprint requirements.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, WorldCity, Statista, Department of Agriculture, ANPACT