Moving Goods in the United States
In 2021 the U.S. transportation system moved a daily average of about 53.6 million tons of freight valued at more than $54 billion.
Weight of shipments by transportation mode
The Freight Analysis Framework estimates tonnage will increase at about 1.6 percent per year between 2023 and 2050.
Value of shipments by transportation mode
Total freight moved by distance
Value of freight by mode and distance
Modal shares of freight vary by distance. Trucks carry the largest shares by value in both current and constant dollars for shipments moved less than 2,000 miles, while rail is the dominant mode by weight and ton-miles for shipments moved 1,000 to 2,000 miles in 2020. Air, multiple modes and mail, water, and rail accounted for over half of the value of shipments moved more than 2,000 miles.
Weight of freight by mode and distance
Ton-miles of freight by mode and distance
Top commodities by weight and value
Top commodities moved by mode
U.S. crude oil production by state (thousands of barrels)
Shipments of U.S. crude oil moved by pipeline, tanker and barge, and rail
Establishment of Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts
Hazardous materials shipments by transportation mode
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Commodity Flow Survey indicates that 3 billion tons of hazardous materials valued at $1.7 trillion was shipped in the U.S. in 2017, generating a total of 382.5 billion ton-miles. Trucks moved 61.1 percent of the tonnage and 64.9 percent of the value of these shipments. The average shipment by truck was 63 miles compared to an average of 640 miles by rail.
Hazardous materials shipments by hazard class
Flammable liquids are the predominant hazardous materials transported in the United States, accounting for 81.8 percent by value, 83.1 percent by weight, and 70.5 percent of the ton-miles of all hazardous material shipments in 2017. Flammable liquid shipments traveled 100 miles on average.