Published on December 12, 2013

Stats show trucking dominates freight delivery

ARLINGTON, Va. (Dec. 12, 2013) — Trucks continue to be the dominant mode for freight movement in the U.S., according to recent data from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In 2012, trucks moved 73.7 percent of all freight by value and 70 percent of tonnage vs. rail transporting 3.3 percent of value and 15.8 percent of tonnage.

The average miles per shipment by truck were 212 miles. Only 15 percent of all freight shipments were longer than 500 miles and about 9.7 percent of shipments traveled more than 750 miles.

Only 3 percent of freight tonnage moved on multiple modes—such as by train and truck or by barge and truck, according to the report.

“The Commodity Flow Survey showed once again that trucks move the vast, vast majority of freight in the United States," said American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello.

“The length of haul data is crucial, particularly when talking about rail and truck competition,” Mr. Costello said. “While feasible under certain conditions, the potential for rail intermodal to gain a significant amount of truck market share is limited. Now more than ever, the two modes are more likely to complement each other than compete for business.”

The full Commodity Flow Survey can be viewed on the Census Bureau website.

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