The Charlotte metro area experienced the fastest rate of growth in exports in the country, from 2012 to 2013, with exports growing by 69 percent. Strong exports of transportation equipment and machinery accounted for the increase, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, with transportation exports showing staggering growth of 333 percent in one year.
Since 2009, the Charlotte area saw exports rise 158 percent, the report said, making it one of the seven metropolitan statistical areas where exports more than doubled over the five-year period. In terms of dollar amounts, the Charlotte market is relatively smaller than many other large export markets such as Houston or New York–Newark, N.J.
In 2013, Charlotte exported $10.7 billion in goods compared with $6.3 billion the previous year, according to the Commerce report.
The Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss., MSA saw the most dramatic growth in exports since 2009, rising 591 percent. The report said this market experienced the fastest growth among metro areas that exported more than $1 billion in goods last year.
Houston led all U.S. metro area in exports last year, followed by New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Detroit. The 387 metro areas engaged in exporting nationwide delivered $1.40 trillion in goods worldwide last year, according to the report.
The Commerce Department said exports from U.S. metropolitan areas increased by $42.8 billion, or 3.1 percent, between 2012 and 2013, largely driven by exports of machinery and chemical manufacturing. Metro areas that showed rapid export growth between 2009 and 2013 were top exporters to the following countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam.