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Table 1b. Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation for the United States: 2012 and 2007

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(Estimates are based on data from the 2012 and 2007 Commodity Flow Surveys. Because of rounding, estimates may not be additive)

Mode of transportation Value Tons Ton-miles (1) Average miles per shipment
2012
(million dollars)
2007
(million dollars)
Percent change 2012
(thousands)
2007
(thousands)
Percent change 2012
(millions)
2007
(millions)
Percent change 2012 2007 Percent change
All modes 13,852,143 11,684,872 18.5 11,299,409 12,543,425 –9.9 2,969,506 3,344,658 –11.2 630 619 1.7
Single modes 11,900,364 9,539,037 24.8 10,905,518 11,698,128 –6.8 2,697,418 2,894,251 –6.8 262 234 12.0
Truck (2) 10,132,229 8,335,789 21.6 8,060,166 8,778,713 –8.2 1,247,717 1,342,104 –7.0 227 206 9.9
 For-hire truck 6,504,636 4,955,700 31.3 4,298,693 4,075,136 5.5 1,050,942 1,055,646 –0.4 508 599 –15.3
 Private truck 3,627,592 3,380,090 7.3 3,761,472 4,703,576 –20.0 196,775 286,457 –31.3 58 57 0.8
Rail 473,070 436,420 8.4 1,628,537 1,861,307 –12.5 1,211,481 1,344,040 –9.9 805 728 10.6
Water 301,554 114,905 162.4 575,996 403,639 42.7 192,866 157,314 22.6 908 520 74.7
 Inland water 218,927 91,004 140.6 424,542 343,307 23.7 118,742 117,473 1.1 275 144 90.6
 Great Lakes 424 S S 31,403 17,792 76.5 10,959 6,887 59.1 347 657 –47.2
 Deep sea 59,878 23,058 159.7 72,987 42,540 71.6 22,130 32,954 –32.8 1,157 923 25.4
 Multiple waterways 22,325 X X 47,064 X X 41,035 X X 1,034 X X
Air (includes truck and air) 450,575 252,276 78.6 4,845 3,611 34.2 5,810 4,510 28.8 1,295 1,304 –0.7
Pipeline (3) 542,936 399,646 35.9 635,975 650,859 –2.3 S S S S S S
Multiple modes 1,950,753 1,866,723 4.5 357,047 573,729 –37.8 271,832 416,642 –34.8 922 975 –5.4
Parcel, U.S. Postal Service, or courier 1,688,242 1,561,874 8.1 28,490 33,900 –16.0 22,716 27,961 –18.8 922 975 –5.4
Truck and rail 224,833 187,248 20.1 213,814 225,589 –5.2 169,524 196,772 –13.8 988 1,007 –1.8
Truck and water 29,035 58,389 –50.3 56,720 145,521 –61.0 48,568 98,396 –50.6 1,562 1,429 9.3
Rail and water 7,976 13,892 –42.6 55,570 54,878 1.3 29,170 47,111 –38.1 1,073 1,928 –44.4
Other multiple modes 668 45,320 –98.5 2,452 113,841 –97.8 1,853 46,402 –96.0 S 1,182 S
Other modes 1,026 279,113 –99.6 36,844 271,567 –86.4 256 33,764 –99.2 S 116 S

KEY: S = Withheld because estimate did not meet publication standards.

X = Not applicable.

(1) Ton-miles estimates are based on estimated distances traveled along a modeled transportation network. See “Mileage Calculations” section for additional information.

(2) “Truck” as a single mode includes shipments that were made by only private truck or only for-hire truck.

(3) Estimates for pipeline exclude shipments of crude petroleum (SCTG 16).

NOTES: Value-of-shipments estimates have not been adjusted for price changes. Appendix B tables provide estimated measures of sampling variability. 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 <www.census.gov/econ/cfs>.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census: Transportation Commodity Flow Survey, December 2014.

Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017