More than 70 percent of both the value and the weight of the freight moved in the 2012 calendar year trekked via truck, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, who released its annual Commodity Flow Survey results this week.
Of the $13.6 trillion worth of goods moved last year, trucks carried $10 trillion of it (73.7 percent), according to the CFS. Tonnage wise, 11.7 billion tons of goods were shipped in 2012, with trucks carrying 8 billion of them.
The for-hire trucking industry carried 48.5 percent, $6.6 trillion, according to the CFS, while private trucks moved 25.2 percent of the total ($3.4 trillion).
However, when looking at ton-miles, rail accounted for 44.5 percent of freight movement and trucking accounted for 38.1 percent, according to the CFS. Ton-miles is a measurement of weight multiplied by distance shipped.
More than half of the total tonnage moved in 2012 went less than 50 miles, CFS says, and shipments traveling fewer than 250 miles accounted for more than 60 percent.
The CFS is only conducted every five years, with the first coming in 1993, and the subsequent ones coming in 1997, 2002, 2007 and last year. Final data from the survey will be released in December 2014, the DOT says.