Commodity Flow Survey 2012 [supporting datasets]
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Commodity Flow Survey 2012 [supporting datasets]

Filetype[PDF-397.40 KB]



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  • Abstract:
    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 2012 CFS is the fifth 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. Researchers, transportation planners, transportation advocacy and non-profit groups, policymakers, state DOT's, etc. represent some of the data users who benefit from the CFS. Additionally, roughly 70% of the FHWA Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) is derived from CFS data.

    The supporting zip file contains datasets, a README.txt with a data dictionary, a data management plan, and a .json metadata file in Project Open Data format, for the Commodity Flow Survey 2012. The data files are in comma-separated value (.csv) format. The compressed zip file is 3.64 MB. These files can be unzipped using any zip decompression software. The .csv files can be read with any basic text editor. The README.txt file is a plain-text file and can be opened with any basic text editor. The metadata file is in .json format and can be opened with any basic text editor, but is better viewed in a metadata editor or more advance text editor, such as Notepad++. PDF files can be opened by web browsers or with PDF readers.

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