Appendix A. Comparability With the 1993, 1997, 2002, and 2007 Commodity Flow Surveys

Appendix A. Comparability With the 1993, 1997, 2002, and 2007 Commodity Flow Surveys

The following tables show a comparison of the key characteristics among the 1993, 1997, 2002, and 2007 Commodity Flow Surveys.

Industry Coverage

1993 CFS and 1997 CFS 2002 CFS 2007 CFS
Establishments classified based on the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC) Establishments classified based on 1997 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Establishments classified based on 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
Publishers in Manufacturing Sector Not covered1 Publishers in Information Sector1
Logging in Manufacturing Sector Not covered2 Not covered
Other Manufacturing (excluding Printing Trade Services (SIC 279)) Other Manufacturing (excluding Prepress Services (NAICS 323122)) Other Manufacturing (excluding Prepress Services (NAICS 323122))
Mining (except mining services (SICs 108, 124, 138, 148) and oil and gas extraction (SICs 131 and 132)) Mining (except support activities (NAICS 213) and oil and gas extraction (NAICS 211)) Mining (except support activities (NAICS 213) and oil and gas extraction (NAICS 211))
Wholesale (merchants and manufacturers’ sales branches and government- owned liquor stores) Wholesale (merchants and manufacturers’ sales branches and government- owned liquor stores) Wholesale (merchants and manufacturers’ sales branches and government- owned liquor stores)
Retail - catalog and mail order houses Retail - electronic shopping and mail order houses Retail - electronic shopping and mail order houses, fuel dealers
Auxiliaries (e.g., warehouses) Auxiliaries (e.g., warehouses) Auxiliaries (e.g., warehouses)3

1 Under NAICS, publishers were reclassified from Manufacturing (SIC 2711, 2721, 2731, 2741, and part of 2771) to Information (NAICS 5111 and 51223) and were excluded in the 2002 CFS. However, for the 2007 CFS, publishers were restored as an in-scope industry.

2 Because of changes in the classification of establishments between SIC and NAICS, logging establishments (NAICS 1133), which were covered as part of Manufacturing in the 1993 and 1997 surveys, were not included in 2002 and 2007. Detailed information about NAICS classification can be found on the Census Bureau's NAICS Web site.

3 While included in all surveys, the procedures for identifying in-scope auxiliary establishments has changed over the years. For the 1997 CFS, a managing office was considered in-scope only if it had sales or end-of-year inventories in the 1992 Census. Research conducted prior to the 2002 CFS showed that not all managing offices with shipping activity in the 1997 CFS indicated sales or inventories in the 1997 Economic Census. Consequently the 1997 Economic Census results were not used to determine scope for managing offices in the 2002 CFS. For 2002, an auxiliary was included if it supported an inscope or retail company. For the 2007 CFS, an advance survey of approximately 40,000 auxiliary establishments was conducted in 2006 to identify auxiliary establishments with shipping activity. Those that indicated that shipping was performed (as well as non-respondents) were included in the CFS sample universe.

The 2007 Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) covers business establishments with paid employees that are located in the United States and are classified using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in mining, manufacturing, wholesale, and selected retail and services trade industries, namely, electronic shopping and mail-order houses, fuel dealers, and publishers.  Additionally, the survey covers auxiliary establishments (i.e., warehouses and managing offices) of multiestablishments companies. For the 2007 CFS, an advance survey (pre-canvass) including approximately 40,000 auxiliary establishments was conducted to identify auxiliary establishments with shipping activity. Surveyed establishments that indicated undertaking shipping activities and the nonrespondents to the pre-canvass were included in the CFS sample universe.

Establishments classified in transportation, construction, and most retail and services industries are excluded from the survey. Farms, fisheries, foreign establishments, and most government-owned establishments are also excluded.

In-scope industries for the 2007 CFS were selected based on the 2002 version of the NAICS, while the industries included in the 2002 CFS were selected based on the 1997 version of the NAICS.  However, the industries in the 1993 CFS and the 1997 CFS were selected based on the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC) and, although attempts were made to maintain similar coverage among the SIC based surveys (1993 and 1997) and the NAICS based surveys (2002 and 2007), there have been some changes in industry coverage due to the conversion from SIC to NAICS. Most notably, coverage of the logging industry changed from an in-scope Manufacturing (SIC 2411) to the out-of-scope sector of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting under NAICS 1133. Also, publishers were reclassified from Manufacturing (SIC 2711, 2721, 2731, 2741, and part of 2771) to Information (NAICS 5111 and 51223) and were excluded in the 2002 CFS. The 2007 CFS, however, includes publishers and retail fuel dealers.

The NAICS industries covered in the 2007 CFS are listed in the following table:

NAICS Code Description
212 Mining (Except Oil and Gas)
311 Food Manufacturing
312 Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing
313 Textile Mills
314 Textile Product Mills
315 Apparel Manufacturing
316 Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing
321 Wood Product Manufacturing
322 Paper Manufacturing
3231 Printing and Related Support Activities (except 323122)
324 Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
325 Chemical Manufacturing
326 Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing
327 Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
331 Primary Metal Manufacturing
332 Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
333 Machinery Manufacturing
334 Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing
335 Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing
336 Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
337 Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing
339 Miscellaneous Manufacturing
423 Wholesale Trade, Durable Goods
424 Wholesale Trade, Nondurable Goods
4541 Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
45431 Fuel Dealers
49312 Warehousing and Storage
5111 Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
512233 Music Publishers
5511144 Corporate, Subsidiary, and Regional Managing Offices

1 Excludes Pre-Press Services (NAICS 323122)

2 Includes only captive warehouses that provide storage and shipping support to a single company. Warehouses offering their services to the general public and other businesses are excluded.

3 For tabulation and publication purposes, NAICS 51223 is grouped with NAICS 5111.

4 Includes only those establishments in NAICS 551114 with shipping activity.

Other industry areas that are not covered, but may have significant shipping activity, include agriculture and government. For agriculture, specifically, this means that the CFS does not cover shipments of agricultural products from the farm site to the processing centers or terminal elevators (most likely short-distance local movements), but does cover the shipments of these products from the initial processing centers or terminal elevators onward.

Commodity Classification System

1997 2002 2007
Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG) Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG) Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG)

Sample Size

1993 1997 2002 2007
Approximately 200,000 establishments selected from a universe of about 790,000 in-scope establishments. Approximately 100,000 establishments selected from a universe of about 770,000 in-scope establishments. Approximately 50,000 establishments selected from a universe of about 760,000 in-scope establishments. Approximately 100,000 establishments selected from a universe of about 754,000 in-scope establishments.

Survey Methodology

1993 1997, 2002, and 2007
Respondents reported key characteristics for each shipment from a sample of their individual outbound shipments during a 2-week period in each of the four calendar quarters of the reference year. Respondents reported key characteristics for each shipment from a sample of their individual outbound shipments during a 1-week period in each of the four calendar quarters of the reference year.

Reported Mode of Transportation

1993 1997, 2002, and 2007
For-hire truck For-hire truck
Private truck Private truck
Rail Rail
Air Air
Inland Water Shallow draft vessel
Deep Sea Water Deep draft vessel
Pipeline Pipeline
Parcel, U.S. Postal Service, or courier Parcel, U.S. Postal Service, or courier
Other Other
Unknown Unknown

Data Items Requested for Each Reported Shipment

1993 1997 2002 and 2007
Total value Total value Total value
Total weight Total weight Total weight
Standard Transportation Commodity Code (STCC) of the Commodity that contributed the most to the shipment’s weight Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG) code of the Commodity that contributed the most to the shipment’s weight Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG) code of the Commodity that contributed the most to the shipment’s weight
All known modes of transportation All known modes of transportation All known modes of transportation
Single origin (assumed to be the mailing address unless the respondent provided a different physical location address) Single origin (assumed to be the mailing address unless the respondent provided a different physical location address) Single origin (assumed to be the mailing address unless the respondent provided a different physical location address)
Destination Destination Destination
Containerized (Y/N) Containerized (Y/N)  
    Intermodal (Y/N) (2007 only)
Hazardous material (Y/N) United Nations (UN) or North American (NA) number for hazmat shipments United Nations (UN) or North American (NA) number for hazmat shipments
Export (Y/N) Export (Y/N) Export (Y/N)
If export: U.S. exit gateway, mode(s) of transport to the gateway, foreign city and country of destination; and mode(s) of export If export: U.S. exit gateway, mode(s) of transport to the gateway, foreign city and country of destination; and mode(s) of export If export: U.S. exit gateway, mode(s) of transport to the gateway, foreign city and country of destination; and mode(s) of export