U.S. exports are almost certain to hit a record high in 2012, remaining one of the anchors of the nation's economic recovery. For ports and other trade hubs, that means higher profits and more jobs. In keeping with the global economy, the nation's trade nexus touches the four corners of America's borders. The 2-decade-old free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is certainly a defining factor, as is the newer influence of emerging markets in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.
Some of the biggest freights hubs might surprise you. For example, the Port of Los Angeles is the leading gateway overall for international trade, while the land border crossing of Detroit handled a total of $120 billion in surface freight. From January through December 2010, more than $1.8 trillion worth of goods moved through U.S. transportation facilities, according to research from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics .
Click ahead to see the list of busiest U.S. land, water and air trade hubs, based on value of shipments.
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By Jessica Naziri