Beginning with the 2012 Commodity Flow Survey, respondents may provide their information via paper questionnaire or by reporting online.
The CFS undertaken through a partnership between the U.S. Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Department of Transportation is conducted every 5 years (years ending in "2" and "7") as part of the Economic Census. This survey produces data on the movement of goods in the United States. The data from the CFS are used by public policy analysts and for transportation planning and decision-making to assess the demand for transportation facilities and services, energy use, and safety risk and environmental concerns.
In preparation for the CFS, an Advance Survey was conducted. Responses to the Advance Survey improved the efficiency of the sample for the 2012 CFS. For the Advance Survey, a short questionnaire was mailed to auxiliary establishments and establishments expected to be selected with certainty in the CFS. The Advance Survey determined if these establishments are engaged in shipping activities, and if so obtained an estimate of the annual value of those shipments, along with updated address and contact information. Responses to this survey improved the efficiency of the sample for the CFS.
A CFS Pre-notice Letter was mailed in late October to notify companies that have been selected to participate in the 2012 CFS. It also provided information on the reporting schedule for the entire calendar year. It was mailed to approximately 101,000 companies.
For more information about the CFS and its data products, please go to: CFS home page.