Freight numbers and driver jobs

Freight value has decreased, which may affect driver jobs.

All transportation modes except rail carried less cross-border freight by value in July 2016 compared to July 2015 resulting in a 10.0 percent decrease to $83.7 billion in the total current dollar value of freight moved.

The $83.7 billion in July 2016 cross-border freight is the lowest monthly amount since February 2011, which had $76.7 billion in cross-border freight.

July was the 19th consecutive month that the total value of U.S. freight with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico declined from the same month of the previous year, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The value of commodities moving by rail increased 0.9 percent while the value of freight carried on other modes decreased: air by 6.4 percent; truck by 8.8 percent; vessel by 25.1 percent; and pipeline by 26.9 percent.

The increase in rail is due in part to the a 14 percent year-over-year  increase in the value of vehicles and parts traded with Mexico. A drop in the price of crude oil played a role in the large declines in the dollar value of products shipped by vessel and pipeline. Crude oil (a component of mineral fuels) comprises a large share of the commodities carried by these modes. Average monthly prices for crude petroleum and refined fuel are available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration(link is external).

Mineral fuels, a commodity category that includes crude oil and coal, accounted for 10.1 percent of total value of U.S.-NAFTA trade in July.