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Data Profile: Commodity Flow Survey (CFS)
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Commodity Flow Survey (CFS)
   Overview
The 1993 and 1997 Commodity Flow Surveys (CFS) were undertaken through a partnership between the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The CFS produces data on the movement of goods in the United States, including information on commodities shipped, their value, weight, and mode of transportation, as well as the origins and destinations of shipments. Data from the CFS are used for transportation planning and decision making.

For additional information on the Commodity Flow Survey visit the BTS Commodity Flow Survey website and the Census Bureau CFS website.

The 1997 CFS CD-ROM contains provides information on commodities shipped, their value, weight, size, and mode of transportation, as well as, the origin and destination of shipments of. It has data on United States, individual 50 states, and selected metropolitan areas plus remainder-of-state. The CD-ROM also has publications in PDF (view and read) format, including special reports on hazardous materials transportation and Exports.

The 1993 CFS CD-ROM contains data and information on domestic commodities shipped, their value, weight, size, and mode of transportation, as well as, the origin and destination of shipments of. It has data on the individual 50 states and the 89 National Transportation Analysis Regions (NTARs). The NTARs are based on the Bureau of Economic Analysis regions.
   Coverage
CFS covers the movement of goods in the United States. The surveys of 1993 and 1997 covered business establishments in mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, selected retail industries and selected auxiliary establishments (e.g., warehouses) of in-scope multiunit companies. CFS coverage excludes establishments classified as farms, forestry, fisheries, governments, construction, transportation, foreign establishments, services, and most establishments in retail. CFS data includes exports but not imports.
   Availability
 
For 2002 and 2007 CFS data click here   
 
First Year1993
Last Year1997
FrequencyEvery 5 years
  • Data collected as a part of the Economic Census.
 
   Data Tables
View tables in this database ...
ExpEx1 (1997)
Shipments by Export Mode of Transportation
ExpEx2 (1997)
Export Shipments by Domestic Transport Mode
ExpEx3 (1997)
Shipments by Destination Country
ExpEx4 (1997)
Shipments by Destination Country and Export Mode
ExpEx5 (1997)
Export Shipments by Commodity Group
ExpEx6 (1997)
Export Shipments by Two-Digit Commodity Code
ExpEx7 (1997)
Export Shipments by Commodity Groups and Export Mode of Transportation
ExpEx8 (1997)
Export Shipments by Selected Origin State
HazH1 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Mode of Transportation
HazH10a (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Truck for Intrastate Vs Interstate for Selected Commodities
HazH10b (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by For-Hire Truck for Intrastate Versus Interstate for Selected Commodities
HazH10c (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Private Truck for Intrastate Versus Interstate for Selected Commodities
HazH11A (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Truck for Intrastate Versus Interstate for Selected UN Numbers for the United States
HazH11b (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by For-Hire Truck for Intrastate Versus Interstate for Selected UN Numbers for the United States
HazH11c (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Private Truck for Intrastate Versus Interstate for Selected UN Numbers for the United States
HazH12 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment for Poisonous by Inhalation (PIH)
HazH13 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment for Packaging Group 1
HazH14 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment for Export by Country of Destination
HazH2 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Hazard Class
HazH3 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment for Selected UN Numbers
HazH4 (1997)
Hazmat versus non-hazmat shipment by mode transportation
HazH51 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Selected State of Origin
HazH52 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Selected State of Destination
HazH61 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Hazard Class and Mode of Transportation
HazH62 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Hazard Class Division and Mode of Transportation
HazH7 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Selected UN Numbers and Mode of Transportation
HazH81 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by For-Hire Truck for Selected UN Numbers
HazH82 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Private Truck for Selected UN Numbers
HazH83 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Rail for Selected UN Numbers
HazH84 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Water for Selected UN Numbers
HazH85 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Air for Selected UN Numbers(PART I)
HazH851 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Air for Selected UN Numbers(PART II)
HazH86 (1997)
Hazmat Shipment by Pipeline for Selected UN Numbers
HazH9a (1997)
Hazmat Shipment's Share of Selected Commodity shipments
HazH9b (1997)
Selected Commidities' Share of Hazardous Material Shipments
MarosMasc1 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation
MarosMasc2 (1997)
Inbound Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation
MarosMasc3 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Distance Shipped
MarosMasc4 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Shipment Size
MarosMasc5 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity Group
MarosMasc6 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity Group and Mode of Transportation
MarosMasc7 (1997)
Outbound Shipment Characteristics by Destination
MarosMasc8 (1997)
Inbound Shipment Characteristics by Origin
MarosRasc1 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation
MarosRasc2 (1997)
Inbound Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation
MarosRasc3 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Distance Shipped
MarosRasc4 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Shipment Size
MarosRasc5 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity Group
MarosRasc6 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity Group and Mode of Transportation
MarosRasc7 (1997)
Outbound Shipment Characteristics by Destination
MarosRasc8 (1997)
Inbound Shipment Characteristics by Origin
RegDivDasc1 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation: 1993 and 1997
RegDivDasc10 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Shipment Size by Distance Shipped: 1997
RegDivDasc3 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Distance Shipped: 1997
RegDivDasc4 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Shipment Size: 1997
RegDivDasc5 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity: 1997
RegDivDasc6 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Three-Digit Commodity: 1997
RegDivDasc7 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Mode of Transportation: 1997
RegDivDasc8 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Distance Shipped: 1997
RegDivDasc9 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Shipment Size: 1997
RegDivRasc1 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation: 1993 and 1997
RegDivRasc10 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Shipment Size by Distance Shipped: 1997
RegDivRasc2 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity: 1997.
RegDivRasc3 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Distance Shipped: 1997
RegDivRasc4 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation and Shipment Size: 1997
RegDivRasc5 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity: 1997
RegDivRasc6 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Three-Digit Commodity: 1997
RegDivRasc7 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Mode of Transportation: 1997
RegDivRasc8 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Distance Shipped: 1997
RegDivRasc9 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Shipment Size: 1997
RegdivDasc2 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity: 1997.
Sctg2Digit
Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG): 2 Digit Code and corresponding commodities
Sctg3Digit
Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG): 3 Digit Code and corresponding commodities
Sctg4Digit
Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG): 4 Digit Code and corresponding commodities
StatesTbl1 (1997)
Shipments by Transport Mode
StatesTbl10 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by 3-Digit Commodity Code and Mode of Transportation
StatesTbl11 (1997)
Shipment Characterics by Destination and Mode of Transportation
StatesTbl12 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Destination and Two Digit Commodity
StatesTbl13 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode of Transportation
StatesTbl14 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity
StatesTbl15 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Mode of Transportation
StatesTbl16 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Shipment Size
StatesTbl17 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Distance Shipped
StatesTbl2 (1997)
Shipments by Total Modal Activity
StatesTbl3 (1997)
Shipments by Mode-Distance
StatesTbl4 (1997)
Shipments by Mode-Size
StatesTbl5 (1997)
Shipments by Commodity
StatesTbl6 (1997)
Shipments by SCTG-Mode
StatesTbl7 (1997)
Shipments by State of Destination
StatesTbl8 (1997)
Shipments by State of Origin
StatesTbl9 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Three-Digit Commodity
Stats01 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table01
Stats02 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table02
Stats03 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table03
Stats04 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table04
Stats05 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table05
Stats06 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table06
Stats07 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table07
Stats08 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table08
Stats09 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table09
Stats10 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table10
Stats11 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table11
Stats12 (1993)
The coefficients of variation or measures of reliability for Table12
Table01 (1993)
Mode of Transportation for State or NTAR of Origin Note: Deep sea water as a single mode describes shipments moving only on the open waters of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico.Most shipments moving primarily on the open ocean are tabulated under Inland water and deep sea. 1.Average miles and ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled,not on Great Circle Distance.Calculation of average miles per shipment excludes shipments of STCC 27, Printed Matter.See the About the Mileagessection of the Technical Documentation for further explanation. 2.CFS data for pipelines exclude most shipments of crude oil.See the Shipment Coveragesection of the Technical Documentation for details of CFS coverage.
Table02 (1993)
Total Modal Activity for State or NTAR of Origin. Note:1.Data represent activity for a given mode across single and multiple mode shipments. For example, total truck activity includes private truck and/or for-hire truck single mode combined with private and For-hire truck segments of all multiple mode trips including truck. 2.Average miles and ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled,not on Great Circle Distance.Calculation of average miles per shipment excludes shipments of STCC 27, Printed Matter.See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation.
Table03 (1993)
Mode of Transportation and Distance Shipped for State or NTAR of Origin.Note: Deep sea water as a single mode describes shipments moving only on the open waters of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Most shipments moving primarily on the open ocean are tabulated under Inland water and deep sea. 1.Ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation. 2.CFS data for pipelines exclude most shipments of crude oil. See the Shipment Coverage section of the Technical Documentation for details of CFS coverage.
Table04 (1993)
Mode of Transportation and Shipment Size for State or NTAR of Origin.Note: Deep sea water as a single mode describes shipments moving only on the open waters of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Most shipments moving primarily on the open ocean are tabulated under Inland water and deep sea. 1.Average miles and ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled,not on Great Circle Distance.Calculation of average miles per shipment excludes shipments of STCC 27, Printed Matter. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation. 2. CFS data for pipelines exclude most shipments of crude oil. See the Shipment Coverage section of the Technical Documentation for details of CFS coverage.
Table05 (1993)
Commodity for State or NTAR of Origin.Note: 1.Average miles and ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance. Calculation of average miles per shipment excludes shipments of STCC 27, Printed Matter. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation
Table06 (1993)
Commodity and Mode of Transportation for State or NTAR of Origin.Note: Deep sea water as a single mode describes shipments moving only on the open waters of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Most shipments moving primarily on the open ocean are tabulated under Inland water and deep sea. 1.Average miles and ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled,not on Great Circle Distance.Calculation of average miles per shipment excludes shipments of STCC 27, Printed Matter. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation 2. CFS data for pipelines exclude most shipments of crude oil. See the Shipment Coverage section of the Technical Documentation for details of CFS coverage.
Table07 (1993)
State or NTAR of Destination for State or NTAR of Origin. Note: 1. Ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation.
Table08 (1993)
State or NTAR of Destination and Mode of Transportation for State or NTAR of Origin. Note: Deep sea water as a single mode describes shipments moving only on the open waters of the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Most shipments moving primarily on the open ocean are tabulated under Inland water and deep sea. 1.Ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance.See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation. 2. CFS data for pipelines exclude most shipments of crude oil. See the Shipment Coverage section of the Technical Documentation for details of CFS coverage.
Table09 (1993)
State or NTAR of Destination and Commodity for State or NTAR of Origin. Note: 1. Ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation.
Table10 (1993)
Commodity and Shipment Size for State or NTAR of Origin. Note: 1. Ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation
Table11 (1993)
Commodity and Distance Shipped for State or NTAR of Origin. Note: 1. Ton-miles are based on the estimated distance traveled, not on Great Circle Distance. See the About the Mileages section of the Technical Documentation for further explanation.
Table12 (1993)
State or NTAR of Destination, Commodity and Mode for State or NTAR of Origin
USAsc1(1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Transport Mode
USAsc10 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity-Size
USAsc11 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Three Digit Commodity for the United States: 1997
USAsc12 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Four-Digit Commodity for the United States: 1997
USAsc13 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Three-Digit Commodity and Mode of Transportation for the United States: 1997
USAsc14 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Mode of Transportation by Distance Shipped for the United States: 1997
USAsc15 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Two-Digit Commodity and Mode of Transportation by Shipment Size for the United States: 1997
USAsc2 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Total Modal Activity
USAsc3 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode-Distance
USAsc4 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Mode-Size
USAsc5 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity
USAsc6 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity
USAsc7 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by SCTG-Mode
USAsc8 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity-Distance
USAsc9 (1997)
Shipment Characteristics by Commodity-Size
USAscb1 (1997)
Reliability Measures for Shipments by Transport Mode
USAscb2 (1997)
Reliability Measures for Shipments by Total Modal Activity
USAscb3 (1997)
Reliability Measures for Shipments by Commodity
USAscb4 (1997)
Reliability Measures for Shipments by Distance
USAscb5 (1997)
Reliability Measures for Shipments by Size
   Summary Tables
 
   National Transportation Statistics
 
Growth of Freight Activity in the United States: Comparison of the 1997 and 1993 Commodity Flow Surveys
U.S. Hazardous Materials Shipments by Hazard Class, 2007
U.S. Hazardous Materials Shipments by Mode of Transportation, 2007
Value, Tons, and Ton-Miles of Freight Shipments within the United States by Domestic Establishments, 2007
 
   Related Links
 
Commodity Flow Survey
Census Bureau's CFS web page
 
   Terms and Definitions
AirAir service for shipments that typically weigh more than 100 pounds using commercial or private aircraft. Includes air freight and air express.
Average Miles Per ShipmentThe 1993 CFS excluded shipments of STCC 27, Printed Matter, from calculation of average miles per shipment. This was done after determining that respondents in the 1993 CFS shipping newspapers, magazines, catalogs, etc., had used widely varying definitions of the term shipment. In the 1997 CFS, numerous efforts were made during data collection and editing to produce consistent results from establishments shipping SCTG 29, Printed Products. As a result, average miles per shipment for printed products is included in calculations for the 1997 CFS.
CommodityProducts that an establishment produces, sells, or distributes. This does not include items that are considered as excess or byproducts of the establishment's operation. For the Commodity Flow Survey, respondents reported the description and the five-digit Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG) code for the major commodity contained in the shipment, defined as the commodity with the greatest weight in the total shipment.
Deep Draft VesselA barge, ship, or ferry operating primarily in the open ocean. (Shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway is classified with shallow draft vessels.)
Distance ShippedThe distance between origin and destination for a shipment. For the distance shipped intervals table, the distance is calculated based on the great circle distance between the origin and destination ZIP Code centroids. All other distance-related data (i.e., ton-miles and average miles per shipment) are based on the mileage calculations produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
For-Hire TruckTrucks that carry freight for a fee collected from the shipper, recipient of the shipment, or an arranger of the transportation.
Great Circle DistanceThe shortest distance between two points on the earth's surface.
Great LakesA single mode specially created in ORNL's transportation network for the Commodity Flow Survey for mileage calculations which involve transportation via the Great Lakes between the origin and destination ZIP Codes (see the Mileage Calculations section for more details).
Mode Of TransportationThe type of transportation used for moving a shipment to its domestic destination. For exports, the domestic destination is the port of exit.
Multiple ModesParcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier shipments or shipments for which two or more of the following modes of transportation were used: private truck, for-hire truck, rail, shallow draft vessel, deep draft vessel, or pipeline.
Other And Unknown ModesShipments for which modes were not reported, or were reported by the respondent as Other or Unknown.
Other Multiple ModesShipments using any other mode combinations not specifically listed in the Commodity Flow Survey tables.
Parcel Delivery/Courier/U.S. Postal ServiceDelivery services, parcels, packages, and other small shipments that typically weigh less than 100 pounds. Includes bus parcel delivery service.
PipelineMovements of oil, petroleum, gas, slurry, etc., through pipelines that extend to other establishments or locations beyond the shipper's establishment. Aqueducts for the movement of water are not included.
Private TruckTrucks operated by a temporary or permanent employee of an establishment or the buyer/receiver of the shipment.
RailroadIncludes common carriers (for-hire carriers that hold themselves out to serve the general public at reasonable rates and without discrimination) and private railroads (carriers not open to the public at large).
Shallow Draft VesselsBarges, ships, or ferries operating primarily on rivers and canals; in harbors, the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway; the Intracoastal Waterway, the Inside Passage to Alaska, major bays and inlets; or in the ocean close to the shoreline.
ShipmentAn individual movement of commodities from an establishment to a customer or to another location of the originating company (including a warehouse, distribution center, retail or wholesale outlet). A shipment uses one or more modes of transportation including parcel delivery, U.S. Postal Service, courier, private truck, for-hire truck, rail, water, pipeline, air, and other modes.
Standard Classification Of Transported GoodsA commodity coding system developed jointly by agencies of the United States and Canadian governments based on the Harmonized System to address statistical needs in regard to products transported. (acronym SCTG)
Ton MileThe weight times the mileage for a shipment. The respondents reported shipment weight in pounds, and mileage was calculated as the distance between the shipment origin and destination ZIP Codes. For shipments by truck, rail, or shallow draft vessels, the mileage excludes international segments. Aggregated pound-miles were converted to ton-miles (based on short tons). The ton-miles data are displayed in millions.
Tons ShippedThe total weight of an entire shipment. Respondents reported the weight in pounds. Aggregated pounds were converted to short-tons (2,000 pounds). The tons data are displayed in thousands.
Total Modal ActivityThe overall activity (e.g., ton-miles) of a specific mode of transportation, whether used in a single-mode shipment, or as part of a multiple-mode shipment. For example, the total modal activity for private truck is the total ton-miles carried by private truck in single-mode shipments, combined with the total ton-miles carried by private truck in all multiple-mode shipments that include private truck (private truck and for-hire truck, private truck and rail, private truck and air, etc.)
TruckShipments using for-hire truck only, private truck only, or a combination of for-hire truck and private truck.
Value Of ShipmentThe dollar value of the entire shipment. This is defined as the net selling value, f.o.b. plant, exclusive of freight charges, and excise taxes. The value data are displayed in millions of dollars.
WaterShipments using shallow draft vessel only, deep draft vessel only, or Great Lakes vessel only. Combinations of these modes, such as shallow draft vessel and Great Lakes vessel are included as Other multiple modes.
 
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