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Upcoming CFS Workshop!

The Transportation Research Board will hold a workshop on the future of the Commodity Flow Survey and related national freight data programs on September 24-25, 2020 in Washington, DC.  The Commodity Flow Survey 2020 workshop will facilitate discussion among federal, state, and local level planners, as well as transportation researchers, academics, and practitioners that use federal freight transportation data. The workshop is an opportunity for data producers and data users to work together to find more efficient ways to align the CFS with the FAF to answer more freight data questions, share information and knowledge, and come up with emerging issues that are important for understanding freight movements.

The workshop is sponsored by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and features participants from partner agencies such as the Census Bureau and the Federal Highway Administration. Additional information can be found here. We hope you will be able to attend. Please direct any questions to

Commodity Flow Survey Overview

The Commodity Flow Survey (CFS), a component of the Economic Census, is conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The 2017 CFS is the sixth survey in the program that began in 1993. The CFS is a shipper survey of approximately 100,000 establishments from the industries of mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, auxiliaries (i.e. warehouses and distribution centers), and select retail and service trade industries that ship commodities. Data requested by the CFS includes the type of commodities shipped, their origin and destination, their value and weight, and mode(s) of transport. The CFS provides a comprehensive multimodal picture of national freight flows and represents the only publicly available source of data for the highway mode. Results from the CFS are used to analyze trends in the movement of goods, mapping spatial patterns of commodity and vehicle flows, forecasting demands for the movement of goods, and for guiding management and investment decisions on transportation infrastructure.

* Preliminary 2017 CFS data is available. The final data will be released in July 2020.

In addition to viewing the preliminary data in table form, the data can also be viewed through the following bar graphs: