Author: John Frittelli, Specialist in Transportation Policy
About two-fifths of freight within the United States, measured in ton-miles, moves by truck, and another two-fifths moves by rail (Figure 1). About 9% moves by multiple modes. Trucking accounts for almost three-quarters of freight movement when measured in either tons or cargo value. Air freight has an exceptionally high value to weight ratio, and 30% of the nation’s exports (by value) move this way. Waterborne freight accounts for 7% of domestic tonnage, but almost 20% of import and export tonnage.