Preface

Preface

The nation's interconnected network of highways, railroads, airports, pipelines, and waterways and ports is essential to most economic activity in the nation, enabling access by businesses and households to markets throughout the United States and the world. This report presents major highlights on freight shipments in the United States in 2002, using the Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) and other data sources. It also presents snapshots of changes in freight movements in 1993, 1997, and 2002, highlighting major trends during this period. While the report primarily relies on 2002 CFS preliminary national data recently released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the Census Bureau, several additional freight data sources are drawn on to provide a more complete picture of commercial freight movements. This report indicates where combined data and where CFS-only data are used. It also discusses the relationship between transportation and economic activity and highlights recent trends in length of haul, shipment size, and commodities shipped.