Freight numbers highlight driver jobs

Freight numbers from last month show that impact of driver jobs on the economy.

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $91.1 billion in current dollars as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in November 2016 compared to November 2015, according to the TransBorder Freight Data.

The 3.3 percent rise from November 2015 was only the second time since December 2014 in which the year-over-year value of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month of the previous year.

The value of commodities moving by pipeline increased 30.6 percent, vessel by 12.5 percent, air by 6.2 percent, rail by 5.1 percent, and truck by 0.6 percent.

Trucks carried 64.5 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and continued to be the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $30.7 billion of the $49.8 billion of imports (61.6 percent) and $28.0 billion of the $41.3 billion of exports (67.8 percent).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 15.3 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 5.9 percent; pipeline, 5.3 percent; and air, 3.9 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 85.1 percent of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

From November 2015 to November 2016, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows increased by 2.2 percent to $46.1 billion as the value of freight on three modes increased from a year earlier. The value of freight carried on pipeline increased by 30.1 percent, reflecting the increased value of mineral fuels year over year. Air increased by 6.3 percent, and rail by 0.6 percent.