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Results from the 2007 Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) show that about 70% of all freight movement in the U.S. is by truck, in terms of the shipment value and tonnage. Rail moves about 15% of freight tons, but moves those tons over great distances, accounting for 37% of ton-miles. Parcel delivery, US Postal Service (USPS) or courier service account for 13.5% of shipments by value, but less than half of one percent by tonnage.

Value, Tonnage, and Ton-Miles of Shipments by Mode, 2007 CFS
Graph showing the results from the 2007 Commodity Flow Survey showing tansportation mode, shipment value, tons shipped, and ton-miles. The survey showed that 70% of all freight movement in the U.S. is by truck. For more detailed information, see the table below.

Supporting Information

World Vehicle Production (Thousands)
Transportation Mode Shipment Value Tons Shipped Ton-Miles
Truck 70.7% 68.8% 39.8%
Rail 3.3% 14.8% 37.1%
Water 0.9% 3.3% 5.0%
Air 1.8% 0.0% 0.1%
Pipeline 4.1% 6.0% NA
Parcel, USPS, or Courier 13.5% 0.3% 0.8%
Multiple Modes 2.9% 4.5% 13.2%
Other and Unknown Modes 2.9% 2.3% 1.4%
All Modes $11.8 trillion 13.0 billion 3.5 trillion

Note: NA = not available due to high sampling variability or poor response quality.
Air includes truck to/from airport.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "U.S. Freight on the Move: Survey Preliminary Data," SR-018, September 2009.

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