Freight from driver jobs on the rise

The freight numbers are in, and the numbers are putting driver jobs in the spotlight.

The value of U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $93.5 billion as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in December 2017 compared to December 2016, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The value of commodities moving by vessel increased 37.8 percent, pipeline by 14.2 percent, truck by 5.4 percent, air by 4.1 percent, and rail by 2.8 percent (Figure 2, Table 2). The large percentage increase in the value of goods moving by vessel is due in part to a 11.4 percent year-over-year crude oil price increase, and a 22.2 percent increase in the tonnage of mineral fuels transported by vessel.

Trucks carried 60.7 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and continued to be the most utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $29.0 billion of the $50.5 billion of imports (57.4 percent) and $27.8 billion of the $43.0 billion of exports.

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 14.5 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 8.4 percent; pipeline, 6.5 percent; and air, 4.1 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 81.7 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

Trucks carried 55.1 percent of the value of the freight to and from Canada. Rail carried 15.3 percent followed by pipeline, 11.6 percent; vessel, 5.3 percent; and air, 4.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 82.0 percent of the value of total U.S.-Canada freight flows.