The value of U.S.-North American freight has grown consistently in 2017 compared to 2016.  For the first eight months of 2017, the value of freight moved between the U.S. and Canada combined with the value of U.S.-Mexico freight is up 6.2 percent compared to 2016 with an increase in every month from a year earlier.

The growth has been driven by rising commodity prices, particularly the petroleum products that predominate in the freight moved by pipeline and vessel. Over these eight months, the growth by mode from 2016 was pipeline 44.2 percent, vessel 25.7 percent, rail 7.0 percent, air 5.6 percent, truck 1.7 percent.

American freight movement is dominated by truck shipments, which in the first eight months of 2017 carried 63.4 percent of the total freight value – 58.0 percent to and from Canada, 69.1 percent to and from Mexico. The top three commodities carried on trucks are computer related machinery, electrical machinery, and vehicles. The three commodities combined account for just under 50 percent of the value of all goods hauled by truck across the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican borders.

These numbers and more details can be found on the North American TransBorder Freight Database of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS).

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The USDOT is delighted to announce the 2017 Road Safety Student Art Contest winners. Top honors go to 2nd grader Avni Choudepally of Morrisville, North Carolina, and 4th grader Lynn Sun of Livingston, New Jersey. 

The contest was open to all students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Previously known as the Be Ready, Be Buckled Safety Belt Art Contest, this year’s contest expanded from emphasizing the importance of seat belt use to educating passenger vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians about sharing the road with commercial motor vehicles and working together to reduce crashes.

The contest is organized by the Our Roads, Our Safety Partnership and the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership, which includes FMCSA and more than 30 other government, safety, industry, and private organizations. These partnerships are essential to amplifying safety messages about buckling up and understanding the challenges and special considerations when traveling near or around buses and large trucks.

2017 Road Safety Art Contest Certificate

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Every holiday season, hundreds of lives are lost due to drunk drivers.  Nationally, over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.  Alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities.  In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes in the month of December alone.

Drunk driving is against the law in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. During the Holiday season, law enforcement agencies will increase patrols and drivers will begin seeing a set of ads depicting the consequences of driving drunk. 

The ads and law enforcement blitz is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over safety campaign.  The campaign runs December 13-31, 2017.        

Americans can reduce the toll of drunk driving this Holiday season, by never drinking and driving, planning a safe ride with a designating a sober driver, or by using NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend to be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) addresses human trafficking by engaging transportation industry leaders, training stakeholders, disseminating public awareness materials, and developing tools and resources. We started our efforts at home by requiring all 55,000 DOT employees to take human trafficking awareness training.

To maximize collective impact, DOT launched the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative, which has engaged with over 200 transportation and travel industry stakeholders to date.  TLAHT partners issue leadership statements, sign pledges, develop reporting protocols, train their employees, and conduct public awareness campaigns.  Our TLAHT website supports transportation stakeholders by offering awareness tools and resources to expand their advocacy.  Public awareness campaign materials available through our TLAHT site include “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking” posters, banners, and modal logos.

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The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System provides a safe, efficient and reliable commercial waterborne connection between the Great Lakes region of North America and foreign markets worldwide.  If the Great Lakes region were a country, it would rank as the third largest economy in the world.

Maritime commerce on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System annually sustains 227,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs, and generates $35 billion in annual business revenues, $14 billion in annual wages and salaries, and $5 billion in federal, state, provincial, and local taxes each year.  Annual commerce on the Great Lakes Seaway System typically exceeds 164 million metric tons and serves U.S. miners, farmers, factory workers, construction projects, and commercial interests, particularly those in the Great Lakes region.


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