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12/10/2013 1:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Industry Shipped 11.7 Billion Tons in 2012, Federal Agencies Say

Mark Elias/Bloomberg News

American manufacturers and related industries shipped 11.7 billion tons of freight worth $13.6 trillion in 2012, and that trucks carried 70% of the freight both by weight and value, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Census Bureau reported.

The preliminary figures from the agencies’ Commodity Flow Survey show that trucks carried 8 billion tons of freight worth $10 trillion, the agencies said Dec. 10.

“The Commodity Flow Survey showed once again that trucks move the vast, vast majority of freight in the United States,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement.

The survey is conducted every five years. It covers about three-fourths of the freight shipped in the United States and excludes imports, freight from farms, crude oil production and some small categories, BTS and Census said.

“Since it is only updated every five years, the CFS report is a critical tool for policymakers and researchers in examining the freight market. The government should ensure that reports like it, including the vehicle inventory and use survey, are updated on a regular basis,” Costello said.

Freight tonnage fell about 6.4% since the 2007 survey and about 14% in value.

In 2012, shipments that used multiple transportation modes followed trucking in value, at $1.8 trillion. Rail was the second-most used mode by weight, with 1.8 billion tons.

By Transport Topics

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