Moving Goods in the United States
In 2018 the U.S. transportation system moved a daily average of about 51.0 million tons of freight valued at more than $51.8 billion.
Weight of shipments by transportation mode
The Freight Analysis Framework estimates tonnage will increase at about 1.2 percent per year between
2018 and 2045.
Value of shipments by transportation mode
Total freight moved by distance
Value of freight by mode and distance
shares of freight vary by distance.
Trucks carry the largest shares by value, tons, and ton-miles for
shipments moved less than 1,000
miles, while rail is the dominant mode by tons and ton-miles for
shipments moved 1,000 to
2,000 miles. Air, multiple modes
and mail, and other unknown modes accounted for 50.9 percent 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
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.