You are here

Ton-Miles of Freight Shipments

The Ton-Miles of Freight Shipments table shows that in 2002:

  • Of all commodity groups, coal continued to account for the most Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) ton-miles--18 percent, moving about 562 billion ton-miles.
  • As shown in the figure, Average Length of Haul by Major Commodity Group, unlike gravel and crushed stone, coal is shipped long distances from its source to users nationwide, each ton traveling an average 488 miles. The commodity group with the next most ton-miles, cereal grain, totals less than half the ton-miles of coal.

Mixed freight was the commodity that grew fastest as measured by percent change in ton-miles, increasing from 14 billion tons in 1993 to 58 billion tons in 2002—a 17 percent annual rate. Miscellaneous manufactured products and pharmaceuticals was the next fastest, growing about 13 percent annually.

Ranked by value-per-ton, pharmaceutical products ranked highest, averaging nearly $19,000 per ton, followed by electronic, electrical, and office equipment, averaging about $18,000 per ton. Among all commodity groups, gravel and crushed stones ranked lowest in value-per-ton, at $7 per ton.