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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 62-10
Contact: Nancy Singer
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Telephone: 202-366-0660

DOT Releases New Freight Transportation Data

U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today released its new version of Freight Analysis Framework, the most comprehensive publicly available data set of freight movement.

"A transportation network that meets the needs of consumers and businesses is the foundation of economic recovery, which underscores the need for infrastructure investment," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "We are working to make sure our transportation system is up to meeting this growing demand."

Estimates show that in 2007, nearly 18.6 billion tons of goods worth about $16.5 trillion were moved on the transportation network, which equates to 51 million tons of goods valued at more than $45 billion a day moved throughout the country on all transportation modes.

After declines in 2008 and 2009, preliminary estimates indicate a return to growth in 2010. Freight Analysis Framework projections show tonnage will continue increasing 1.6 percent per year, reaching 27.1 billion tons by 2040, which is a 61 percent increase in tons between 2010 and 2040.

Trucks are still the single most-used mode to move freight, especially for distances less than 500 miles - they moved 69 percent of the weight and 65 percent of the value in 2007. Intermodal goods movement accounted for 18 percent of the value of freight transportation in 2007 and is forecast to grow to nearly 27 percent by 2040.

"The data confirms how critical our highways are to moving freight and to our nation's economy," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. "Overall increasing and improved intermodal freight movement will lead to less energy consumption and more environmentally sustainable options."

The Freight Analysis Framework includes data on the amount and types of goods that move by land, sea and air between large metropolitan areas, states and regions. It is designed to provide information on national level freight flows across the nation's transportation network. This information helps the public and private sectors at all levels better understand freight movement, and transportation planners use it to better target scarce resources to improve operations or increase capacity.

More detail on the Freight Analysis Framework is available at: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/faf/index.htm

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