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Table 2b. Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity for the United States: 2002 and 1997

Monday, July 2, 2012

Table 2b. Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity for the United States: 2002 and 1997

[Estimates are based on data from the 2002 and 1997 Commodity Flow Surveys. Because of rounding, estimates may not be additive]

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Mode of transportation1 Ton-miles2 Percent change Average miles per shipment Percent change
2002 1997
Total 3,137,902 2,592,590 21.0 536 477 12.3
Truck 1,261,813 1,003,611 25.7 168 154 9.3
Rail 1,360,760 1,113,674 22.2 893 893
Shallow draft 258,386 219,157 17.9 459 254 80.5
Great Lakes 49,330 38,290 28.8 354 386 −8.3
Deep draft 75,544 70,357 7.4 1,498 1,331 12.5
Air 5,659 5,802 −2.5 1,866 1,312 42.2
Parcel, U.S.P.S. or courier 19,004 16,729 13.6 894 821 8.8
Pipeline3 S S S S S S
Other and unknown modes 44,253 72,976 −39.4 130 123 6.0

– 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).

NOTES: 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.