Trucking is the predominant mode used by businesses to ship freight in almost all states, according to “State Summaries: 2007 Commodity Flow Survey” from the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that at least 60 percent of the total value of shipments for 42 states and the District of Columbia in 2007 was carried by trucks alone. By weight, trucks transported at least 60 percent of shipments originating in 40 states, including the District of Columbia.
The Commodity Flow Survey is conducted as part of the Census Bureau’s Economic Census, occurring every five years. It is the primary source of national and state-level data on domestic freight shipments in the United States. Based on information from about 100,000 businesses, the CFS measures domestic freight flows from establishments in mining, manufacturing, wholesale and selected retail industries, as well as shipments from auxiliary establishments. The 2007 CFS was undertaken through a partnership between BTS and the Census Bureau.
In the South, eight states and the District of Columbia had more than 80 percent of the value of originating shipments transported by trucks. Only in Louisiana and Texas did trucks carry less than 60 percent of the freight. In the Northeast, New Hampshire was the only state where trucks carried less than 70 percent. The states in the West generally had the lowest percent of freight carried by trucks. Six states in the West had less than 60 percent of originated freight by value transported by truck, and trucks carried more than 70 percent only in Arizona and Nevada.
In all Northeast states, trucks carried more than 75 percent of the originating freight by weight. In contrast, in the West, trucks carried more than 75 percent in only four of 13 states. Trucks carried less than 50 percent by weight in North Dakota, New Mexico, Louisiana, Montana, West Virginia and Wyoming. Trucks still carried the most freight in those states, except for Montana, West Virginia and Wyoming, where rail was the predominant mode. Only 5.6 percent of Wyoming freight by weight was transported by truck.
American businesses covered by the CFS shipped about $11.7 trillion worth of goods in 2007, weighing 12.5 billion tons and generating 3.3 trillion ton-miles. Trucking continued to dominate the nation’s movement of freight, accounting for 71 percent of the value ($8.3 trillion), 70 percent of weight (8.8 billion tons) and 39 percent of the ton-miles (1.3 trillion ton-miles).
Among the goods shipped, electronic and office equipment was the commodity with the highest value at $1.0 trillion. Gravel and crushed stone was the largest commodity by weight at 2.0 billion tons. Coal was the commodity accounting for the most ton-miles with 836 billion in 2007.
The report, available at www.bts.gov/publications/commodity_flow_survey/2007/state_summaries/, summarizes and highlights freight shipments for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It provides tables for each state’s value and weight of shipments, major commodity shipped, mode of transportation used, distance shipped, state of origin, state of destination and industry. CFS data in its entirety for 2007 is available through the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder at www.census.gov.