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Commodity Flow Survey

Friday, May 21, 2021

The CFS provides a comprehensive multimodal picture of national freight flows. Data include the type of commodities shipped, origin and destination, value and weight, and mode of transport for approximately 100,000 shippers. CFS is also the only publicly available source of this data for the highway mode.

UPDATE: The 2017 CFS Subarea Estimates are now available!  

To learn more about the CFS, watch the video below.

Commodity Flow Survey Workshop

The latest CFS workshop, organized by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), was held in September 2020.  The workshop was an opportunity for data producers and data users to work together to find more efficient ways to align freight data products, answer freight data questions, share information and knowledge, and identify emerging issues that are important for understanding freight movements.

The post-workshop circular can be found at the link below.  Please direct any questions you may have to


Commodity Flow Survey Overview

The Commodity Flow Survey (CFS), a component of the Economic Census, is conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The 2017 CFS is the sixth survey in the program that began in 1993. The CFS is a shipper survey of approximately 100,000 establishments from the industries of mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, auxiliaries (i.e. warehouses and distribution centers), and select retail and service trade industries that ship commodities. Data requested by the CFS includes the type of commodities shipped, their origin and destination, their value and weight, and mode(s) of transport. The CFS provides a comprehensive multimodal picture of national freight flows and represents the only publicly available source of data for the highway mode. Results from the CFS are used to analyze trends in the movement of goods, mapping spatial patterns of commodity and vehicle flows, forecasting demands for the movement of goods, and for guiding management and investment decisions on transportation infrastructure.