USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Site Notification

Site Notification

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Table 2a. Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity for the United States: 2002

Monday, July 2, 2012

Table 2a. Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity for the United States: 2002

[Estimates are based on data from the 2002 Commodity Flow Survey. Because of rounding, estimates may not be additive]

Excel | CSV

Mode of transportation1 Ton-miles2 2002 Average miles per shipment
2002 (millions) Percent of total
Total 3,137,902 100.0 536
Truck 1,261,813 40.2 168
Rail 1,360,760 43.4 893
Shallow draft 258,386 8.2 459
Great Lakes 49,330 1.6 354
Deep draft 75,544 2.4 1,498
Air 5,659 0.2 1,866
Parcel, U.S.P.S. or courier 19,004 0.6 894
Pipeline3 S S S
Other and unknown modes 44,253 1.4 130

– Represents data cell equal to zero or less than 1 unit of measure.
S Estimate does not meet publication standards because of high sampling variability or poor response quality.

1 Estimates represent activity for a given mode across single and multiple mode shipments. For example, "Truck" ton-miles includes total ton-miles for shipments moving only by truck plus ton-miles for truck segments of multiple mode shipments.
2 Ton-miles estimates are based on estimated distances traveled along a modeled transportation network. See "Mileage Calculations" section for additional information.
3 Estimates exclude shipments of crude petroleum (SCTG 16).

NOTE: The Introduction and appendixes give information on confidentiality protection, sampling error, nonsampling error, sample design, and definitions. Links to this information on the Internet may be found at
Coverage for the 2002 Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) differs from the previous surveys due to a change from the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification System to the 1997 North American Industry Classification System and other survey improvements. Therefore, data users are urged to use caution when comparing 2002 CFS estimates with estimates from prior years.

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (USDOT) and U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 Commodity Flow Survey, United States Data, December 2004.