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Information for Respondents

**CFS self-reporting closed June 9th, 2023. Please contact an analyst through the portal or call 301-763-2108 for alternative reporting options.


The Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) is the primary source of the national and state-level data on domestic freight shipments by American businesses. The CFS is a 5 year, shipper-based survey, that collects information on how the U.S. establishments transport raw materials and finished goods; the types of commodities shipped, mode of transportation, value, weight, origin, and destination.  Establishments from the mining, manufacturing, wholesale, and selected retail industries are sampled in our survey. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and response is required by law.

Starting with the 2022 survey cycle, response will be entirely paperless. Information on how to access the electronic instrument was sent out in April of 2022. 

Ready to Report or Need Assistance?

To report online:

  1. Sign-in or Register at https://portal.census.gov/portal 
  2. Add your authentication code.
  3. Report by clicking on “REPORT NOW.” You can return to your account over multiple sessions to complete.
  4. For assistance completing this survey, please sign-in to your Census Bureau account at https://portal.census.gov and send us a secure message or call the customer help line at 1-888-817-2154, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  5. Please visit How Do I Get Started? for additional information.

Respondent Materials

2022 CFS Collection Materials: 




The Conversion Tables below include shipment weight conversions of selected commodities for use in the CFS questionnaire.

Commodity Weight Conversion Tables

See Respondent FAQs to the left for further guidance


Title 13, United States Code, Sections 131 and 224, require businesses and other organizations included in the survey to answer the questions and submit a response.


Title 13, United States Code, Section 9, requires the Census Bureau to keep your information CONFIDENTIAL and can use your responses only to produce statistics.  

The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify your business, organization, or institution. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data.  

Survey Legitimacy

Below are a few common items you can use to verify the legitimacy of this survey:

  1. Ensure the Web address provided in the letter is a "census.gov" domain.
  2. Correspondence will contain reporting instructions and a toll-free number for survey assistance. 
  3. On the sign-in screen, a warning message should be present stating the respondent is accessing a U.S. Government computer. 
  4. After clicking on the "Report Now" button in the Respondent Portal, the OMB Number and OMB Approval Expiration information will appear in the upper right on all screens of the electronic reporting instrument. The bottom of the screen should have a link for the "Burden Statement" which also contains the OMB eight-digit number.

Page Last Revised - June 7, 2023
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