Census Bureau

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To provide national estimates of revenue, expenses, and vehicle fleet inventories for commercial motor freight transportation and public warehousing service industries. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.


Companies with employment that provide commercial motor freight transportation and public warehousing services (SIC 42). In 1991, the survey size was nearly doubled to provide more industry detail. In 1994, over 110,000 covered employer establishments had an estimated combined operating revenue of nearly $168 billion.


Data collected include operating revenue and operating revenue by source; total expenses and expenses by type; percentage of motor carrier freight revenue by commodity type, size of shipments handled, length of haul, and shipments country of origin and destination; and vehicle fleet inventory. Current and previous year data are requested for the first year of a new sample. In subsequent years, only current year data are requested.


Annually since 1985; reported data are for activity taking place during the calendar year. Data collection begins about 3 months after the reporting year and continues for about 4 months. Samples are selected every 5 years and updated annually. Use of the latest sample began in 1992 (for the 1991 reporting year).


A mail-out/mail-back survey of some 2,500 selected firms and Employer Identification Numbers (EINs). The sample is drawn from a list of employers contained on the Standard Statistical Establishment List which contains all EINs and locations of establishments for listed businesses. An EIN may represent one or more establishments and firms with payroll may have one or more EIN.

Firms are stratified by total revenue size and kind of business using data from the latest census of transportation. All firms with total revenue above applicable size cutoffs are included in the survey and report for all their industry EINs. In a second stage, unselected EINs are stratified by kind of business and revenue and a simple random sample is taken from each stratum.

The sample is updated annually to reflect "births" and "deaths" in an annual procedure. Companies and EINs that are not active in a survey year are dropped from the sample. New EINs are identified in a birth selection procedure and included in the survey.


Transportation Annual Survey reports are released 12 months after the reference year. They include estimates of annual operating revenues and selected operating expenses for the United States at the 3- and 4-digit SIC level for trucking and warehousing. Comparable statistics are shown for the previous year along with year-to-year percentage changes.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data as an input to estimates of national income and product accounts. The Department of Transportation uses the estimates for policy development, program management, and evaluation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the estimates in developing producer price indices and productivity measures.

Trade and professional organizations use the estimates to analyze industry trends and benchmark their statistical programs; develop forecasts; and evaluate the impact of regulatory requirements. Researchers use the estimates for market research and segmentation. Private businesses use the estimates to measure market share, analyze business potential, and plan investment decisions.


Provides the only annual source of data for employer firms that offer for-hire trucking and public warehousing services; the increased sample size for 1991 permitted publication of additional 4-digit industry detail.


o Business and Professional Classification Survey

o Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey

o Commodity Flow Survey

o Census of Transportation, Communications and Utilities

o  Services                                 o Next Program
o U.S. Economy o Economy Overview

Revised 01/28/2000