Cargo Transportation in Delaware

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Cargo Transportation in Delaware
Understanding future freight activity is important for matching infrastructure supply to demand and for assessing potential investment and operational strategies. To help decisionmakers identify areas in need of capacity improvements, the U.S. Department of Transportation developed the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), a comprehensive national data and analysis tool, including county-to-county freight flows for the truck, rail, water, and air modes. FAF also forecasts freight activity in 2010 and 2020 for each of these modes. Information about the methodology used in developing FAF is available on the Office of Freight Managementand Operations’. The U.S. freight transportation network moves a staggering volume of goods each year. Over 15 billion tons of goods, worth over $9 trillion, were moved in 1998. The movement of bulk goods, such as grains, coal, and ores, still comprises a large share of the tonnage moved on the U.S. freight network. However, lighter and more valuable goods, such as computers and office equipment, now make up an increasing proportion of what is moved. FAF estimates that trucks carried about 71 percent of the total tonnage and 80 percent of the total value of U.S. shipments in 1998. By 2020, the U.S. transportation system is expected to handle about 23 billion tons of cargo valued at nearly $30 trillion.

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Trucks moved the largest percentage of the tonnage and value of shipments. Truck traffic is expected to grow throughout the state over the next 20 years. Much of the growth will occur in urban areas and on the Interstate highway system. Truck traffic moving to and from Delaware accounted for 6 percent of the average annual daily truck traffic (AADTT) on the FAF road network. Approximately 2 percent of truck traffic involved in-state shipments, and 24 percent involved trucks traveling across the state to other markets. About 68 percent of the AADTT were not identified with a route-specific origin or destination. 

The top commodities by weight are crude petroleum or natural gas and petroleum or coal products. By value, the top commodities are transportation equipment and secondary traffic. Secondary traffic is defined as freight flows to and from distribution centers or through intermodal facilities. No commodities are assigned to this intermediate step in the transportation process.

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The database provides detailed information of the Nation’s truck population. Collected from an approximately 154,000 truck sample, individual state and United States estimates are produced. Physical characteristics include model year, body type, empty weight, truck type, axle arrangement, length, and engine size. Operational characteristics include major use, products carried, annual and lifetime miles, area of operation, miles per gallon, operator classification, and hazardous materials transported.