The Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) data are used by policy makers and transportation planners in various federal, state, and local agencies for assessing the demand for transportation facilities and services, energy use, and safety risk and environmental concerns. The CFS is the only comprehensive source of multi-modal, system-wide data on the volume and pattern of goods movement in the United States.
The Census Bureau conducts the CFS Advance Questionnaire prior to the 2017 CFS to verify shipping status, verify and update physical shipping address, determine the amount of annual shipping activity, and verify and update mailing address/contact information.
The CFS covers business establishments in the following industries:
The survey also covers selected auxiliary establishments (e.g., warehouses) of in-scope, multi-unit, and retail companies. Industries not covered by CFS include transportation, construction, most retail and services industries, farms, fisheries, foreign establishments, and most government-owned establishments.