Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations

Freight Analysis Framework 3 User Guide

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Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

Phone: 202-366-0408
Fax: 202-366-3225
FreightFeedback@dot.gov

http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight

June 2012

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Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products of manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.


Table of Contents

1.0 What is the FAF

1.1 What is in FAF3
1.2 What FAF Does and Does Not Do
1.3 FAF Evolution
1.4 Comparison between FAF1, FAF2, and FAF3

2.0 Basic Definitions

2.1 Mode of Transportation
2.2 Type of Commodity
2.3 Geography
2.4 Network

3.0 Accessing FAF3

3.1 Origin-Destination Data
3.1.1 FAF Tabulation Tool
3.1.1.1 Total Flows
3.1.1.2 Domestic Flows
3.1.1.3 Import Flows
3.1.1.4 Export Flows
3.1.2 FAF3 Regional Datasets
3.1.3 FAF3 State-Level Datasets
3.2 Summary Statistics and Other Products
3.3 Network Data

4.0 Relationship of FAF to Other Data Sources

5.0 Where to Go for More Information and Help




This guide provides basic instructions on how to use FAF data, products, and the web-based tabulation tool. Grey shaded words within this document indicate a mouseover with additional information or background on the term or phrase.

1.0 What is the FAF

The Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) is a compilation of data and products that provides estimates of freight shipped to (imports), from (exports), and within (domestic) the United States. It consists of: (1) downloadable data sets; (2) a web-based tabulation tool which allows you to extract, view, and download the specific information you are interested in; and (3) several data products. This user guide was written and released in conjunction with FAF version 3.3, however the majority of its contents are applicable to all versions of FAF3.

1.1 What is in FAF3

Estimates of freight measures available in FAF3 include value, tons, and domestic ton-miles:

In addition, FAF3 includes estimates for value, tons, and domestic ton-miles for 1997 and 2002 at the state level only using FAF3 methodology.

For 2007 and 2040, FAF3 includes estimates for trucks and tons on the highway network.

Currently available FAF3 products include FAF3 Origin-Destination Data, FAF3 Summary Statistics and Other Products, and FAF3 Network Data.

1.2 What FAF Does and Does Not Do

Purpose. The FAF has been created to help users understand how the movement of freight affects the transportation system and where problems with the transportation system could affect the flow of freight. By combining FAF estimates with other data and models, analysts and planners can examine relationships between freight movement and congestion, economic activity, infrastructure wear, safety risk exposure, energy consumption, and environmental issues.

What FAF does. The FAF provides a comprehensive national picture of freight flows, trends, and a baseline forecast to support policy studies. The FAF informs States and localities about their major trading partners and the volumes and sources of traffic passing through their jurisdictions at the corridor level.

What the FAF does NOT do. The FAF does not provide local detail or temporal (seasonal, daily, or hourly) variation in freight flows that are typically necessary to support project planning. While statistical methods exist that allow analysts to disaggregate FAF data from FAF regions to counties or smaller areas, FHWA has not measured any of these methods to establish estimates of reliability or accuracy. FAF estimates of truck tonnage and number of trucks on the network, particularly in regions with multiple routes or significant local traffic between major centers of freight activity, should be supplemented with local data to support local applications.

Using FAF for trends. FAF forecasts are a reasonable extrapolation of current trends, but do not reflect major shifts in the national economy, future capacity limitations, or changes in transportation costs and technology. An extensive system of economic models is used to convert national consumption patterns and foreign trade into purchases among industries and then into volumes of commodities reflected in those purchases. Current percentages carried by each mode for each commodity are then applied to the forecasted mix of commodities to obtain future modal shares of freight movement. To evaluate how freight movement might be affected by changes in costs or other aspects of or to the transportation system, the FAF3 benchmark forecast would need to be supplemented by other models

1.3 FAF Evolution

New versions of the FAF are created after each 5-year Economic Census, which includes the Commodity Flow Survey.

  • FAF Version 1 was based on the 1997 Economic Census, included longer distance freight movements for 1998, 2010 and 2020 by all modes except pipeline, and was limited by the use of proprietary data in both publicly available geographic detail and transparency of estimation methods.
  • Version 2 was based primarily on data from the 2002 Economic Census, and provided through 2035, included pipelines, removed proprietary restrictions, and was not limited to longer distance movements.
  • Version 3 is based primarily on data from the 2007 Economic Census, is the first to include estimates of domestic ton-miles, and adds reprocessed 1997 and 2002 Economic Census data. A brief summary of changes to FAF3 is available under Version Descriptions.

1.4 Comparison between FAF1, FAF2, and FAF3

Because methods and data sources have changed with each version, results from FAF1 and FAF2 should not be compared to each other or to FAF3. To support trend analysis, FAF3 now includes estimates for 1997 and 2002 at the state level based on comparable estimation methods. Although the methodology is now consistent between these years and 2007, many of the original data sources remain the same, which, in some cases, can result in values that are not adequate for trend analysis and should be used with care.

2.0 Basic Definitions

The FAF is built primarily on the Commodity Flow Survey and uses the modes, commodity classification, and geography developed for that survey.

Measures that are provided as part of the current release of FAF3 include:

  • Value in 2007 chained (constant) dollars to adjust for inflation, except where noted
  • Tons in short tons (also referred to as Weight in this document)
  • Ton-miles as the product of tons and the weighted average distance by mode of shipments moving on the corresponding transportation network between or within FAF regions.

2.1 Mode of Transportation

FAF3 includes the seven modes of transportation from the Commodity Flow Survey plus an extra category involving imports. Table 1 provides a summary and brief description of each mode. FAF3 also provides value, tons, and domestic ton-miles by Domestic Mode and value and tons by Foreign Mode.

  • Domestic Modes are the modes used between domestic origins and destinations or domestic trade, modes used between zones of entry and domestic destination for imports, and modes used between domestic origins and zones of exit for exports.
  • Foreign Modes comprise the mode of arrival to zones of entry for imports or mode of departure from zones of exit for exports; they do not include modes used in foreign countries to and from foreign ports and airports.

Note about Multiple Modes and Mail: FAF3 and the Commodity Flow Survey use Multiple Modes and Mail rather than intermodal to represent commodities that move by more than one mode. Intermodal typically refers to containerized cargo that moves between ship and surface modes or between truck and rail, and repeated efforts to identify containerized cargo in the Commodity Flow Survey have proved unsuccessful. Shipments reported as Multiple Modes can include anything from containerized cargo to coal moving from mine to railhead by truck and rail to harbor. The "Mail" component recognizes that shippers who use parcel delivery services typically do not know what modes were involved after the shipment was picked up.

2.2 Type of Commodity

Commodities are classified at the 2-digit level of the Standard Classification of Transported Goods, which is summarized in Table 2. A complete description of these categories and their constituent parts is published by Statistics Canada.

2.3 Geography

To minimize potential confusion between geography-related terms, the following convention is used in this document.

  • Origin – The beginning of a freight movement regardless of geography
  • Domestic Origin
    • For domestic freight movement, the FAF region or state where a freight movement begins
    • For imports, the FAF region or state where a freight movement begins the domestic portion of the trip (see Zone of Entry)
    • For exports, the FAF region or state where a freight movement begins the domestic portion of the trip
  • Foreign Origin – For imports, the foreign region where a freight movement begins
  • Destination – The ending of a freight movement regardless of geography
  • Domestic Destination
    • For domestic freight movements, the FAF region or state where a freight movement ends
    • For imports, the FAF region or state where a freight movement ends the domestic portion of the trip
    • For exports, the FAF region or state where a freight movement ends the domestic portion of the trip (see Zone of Exit)
  • Foreign Destination – For exports, the foreign region where a freight movement ends
  • FAF Region – The 123 domestic regions defined below
  • State – The 50 States and Washington, D.C.
  • Foreign Region – The 8 international regions used for imports and exports
  • Zone of Entry – The FAF region or state where an import enters the United States. This term refers to the entire region or state and does not limit the entry to any single location. This replaces the term "international gateway" used previously
  • Zone of Exit – The FAF region or state where an export leaves the United States. This term refers to the entire region or state and does not limit the exit to any single location. This replaces the term "international gateway"
  • International gateway – This term has been replaced by Zone of Entry and Zone of Exit to explicitly reflect whether it is part of an import or export.

FAF3 data sets are available at the FAF3 domestic region level and at the state level.

FAF Regions. FAF3 domestic region level datasets and products provide information for states, state portions of large metropolitan areas, and remainders of states as listed in Table 3. Metropolitan areas consist of Metropolitan Statistical Areas or Consolidated Statistical Areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. When a metropolitan area is entirely within a state or when a state's portion of a multi-state metropolitan area is large enough to support the sampling procedures in the Commodity Flow Survey, the area becomes a separate FAF region. Small single-state metropolitan areas and small portions of a multi-state metropolitan area are part of the State or Remainder of State. FAF has two metropolitan areas that are each divided into three FAF regions, four that are each divided into two FAF regions, and several that have small pieces combined with States or Remainders of States.

States. The state-level datasets and products include information for the 50 States and the District of Columbia.

Foreign Regions. For imports and exports, FAF3 uses the foreign regions listed in Table 4, which are defined by the United Nations Statistics Division. Specific countries included in each region can be found at the United Nations site.

2.4 Network

The Network that is currently available in FAF3 is a GIS-based centerline representation of the highway network in the United States. It was developed from the National Highway Planning Network (NHPN) and has been modified to meet the needs of the FAF. It consists of approximately 171,000 links representing nearly 448,000 miles of roads and is used to develop highway ton-miles and to provide an estimate of tons and trucks by highway segment. A detailed discussion of the network and how tons and trucks are assigned is available in the FAF3 Freight Traffic Analysis documentation.

Note about Networks: The Network available as part of FAF3 is only for highways. Ton-miles across modes are estimated using a series of models and mode specific networks.

3.0 Accessing FAF3

FAF3 data and products are available at: http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/faf/

The FAF3 site can also be reached by clicking "Freight Analysis Framework" on freight.dot.gov

FAF1 and FAF2 data have been archived and removed from the site. As noted previously, these versions are not comparable with FAF3 or with each other. However, in response to user requests, FAF3 now includes estimates for the earlier Economic Census years of 1997 and 2002 in the current state-level dataset.

3.1 Origin-Destination Data

FAF3 Origin-Destination Data access is provided through a web-based tabulation tool, further described in section 3.1.1, as well as by downloading the complete regional and state-level data sets. The tabulation tool allows you to specify the data you are interested in while the complete data sets are available to those who want to perform more complex analyses or need individual data elements for model building, analysis, or display.

Units of measure for 2007 and 2015 through 2040 data are thousands of tons for weight, millions for ton-miles, and millions of 2007 dollars for value. Provisional Annual Data for most recent year are presented in both millions of 2007 dollars and millions of current dollars (Current M$) for value.

3.1.1 FAF Tabulation Tool

The FAF Tabulation Tool is a web-based interface that allows you to select the categories you want through easy-to-use pull-down menus. You can select one or more elements from each category to generate a customized data set that is displayed on the screen. You can then download the resulting output as a CSV (comma separated values) file for further analysis.

Note: The headings displayed on the screen above the search results are "active," meaning if you click on one, the information shown will be ordered alphabetically or in descending order using that column. If you click again, it will be shown in reverse order.

The first option that you must select is the Type of Trade you want to tabulate. Options include Total Flows, Domestic Flows, Import Flows, and Export Flows. The tool interface adjusts according to your selection so that appropriate options are available for tabulating the desired results. Interfaces for each type of flow are presented in the following subsections and include a description of each pull-down menu.

3.1.1.1 Total Flows

Total Flows tabulates freight moved between domestic origins and domestic destinations and includes both domestic and foreign shipments. For import shipments, the origin of the flow is zone of entry (the FAF region or state of entry), and for export shipments, the destination of the flow is zone of exit (the FAF region or state of exit). Mode of transportation for Total Flows is the mode used within domestic regions or states.

Tabulation categories are:

  • Years: You can select one or more years. Results will be provided for each year selected.
  • Origin: You can select Combine National Total, Origin State-Specific info, or Origin FAF Region-Specific info.
    • Combine National Total is not origin specific and gives you the total freight flowing to, from, and within the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • Origin State-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • Origin FAF Region-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Destination: As with Origin, you can select Combine National Total, Destination State-Specific info, or Destination FAF Region-Specific info.
    • Combine National Total is not destination specific and gives you the total freight flowing to, from and within the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • Destination State-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • Destination FAF Region-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Measure: You can Select All, Tons, Ton-miles, or Values.
  • Commodity: You can select Combine Total, Select All, or one or multiple individual commodities.
    • Combine Total is not commodity specific and provides total freight moved.
    • All provides tabulations for each commodity individually.
  • Domestic Mode: You can select Combine Total, Select All or one or multiple individual modes.
    • Combine Total is not mode specific and provides total freight moved by all modes.
    • All provides tabulations for freight moved by each mode individually.

Once you have completed your selections, click the Submit button and the results will be provided on the screen with an option to download to a CSV file.

3.1.1.2 Domestic Flows

Domestic Flows tabulates freight moved between domestic origins and destinations. No foreign trade flows are included and the mode of transportation is the mode used within and between domestic regions or states. Tabulation categories are similar to Total Flows and include:

  • Years: You can select one or more years. Results will be provided for each year selected.
  • Origin: You can select Combine National Total, Origin State-Specific info, or Origin FAF Region-Specific info.
    • Combine National Total is not origin specific and gives you the total freight flowing within the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • Origin State-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • Origin FAF Region-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Destination: As with Origin, you can select Combine National Total, Destination State-Specific info, r Destination FAF Region-Specific info.
    • Combine National Total is not destination specific and gives you the total freight flowing within the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within regions/states.
    • Destination State-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • Destination FAF Region-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Measure: You can Select All, Tons, Ton-miles, or Values.
  • Commodity: You can select Combine Total, Select All, or one or multiple individual commodities.
    • Combine Total is not commodity specific and provides total freight moved.
    • Select All provides tabulations for each commodity individually.
  • Mode: You can select Combine Total, Select All or one or multiple individual modes
    • Combine Total is not mode specific and provides total freight moved by all modes.
    • Select All provides tabulations for freight moved by each mode individually.

Once you have completed your selections, click the Submit button and the results will be provided on the screen with an option to download to a CSV file.

3.1.1.3 Import Flows

Import Flows tabulates freight moved from foreign origins to domestic destinations. Geographies for this type of flow tabulation include Foreign Origin, Zone of Entry, and Domestic Destination. Mode of transportation provided in this option consists of two types: foreign mode used between a foreign origin and zone of entry and domestic mode used between a zone of entry and domestic destination. Tabulation categories include:

  • Years: You can select one or more years. Results will be provided for each year selected.
  • Foreign Origin: You can select Combine Total, Select All, or one or multiple foreign origins.
    • Combine Total is not origin specific and gives you total freight entering the United States.
    • Select All provides tabulations for each foreign region individually.
  • Domestic Zone of Entry: You can select Combine National Total, State-Specific Zone, or FAF Region-Specific Zone.
    • Combine National Total is not zone specific and gives you total freight entering the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • State Specific-Zone changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • FAF Region-Specific Zone changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF Regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Foreign Mode: You can select Combine Total, Select All or one or multiple individual modes.
    • Combine Total is not mode specific and provides total freight moved by all modes from the selected Foreign Origin to the selected Zone of Entry.
    • Select All provides tabulations for freight moved by each mode individually.
  • Measure: You can Select All, Tons, Ton-miles, or Values.
  • Domestic Destination: You can select Combine National Total, State-Specific info, or FAF Region-Specific info.
    • Combine National Total is not destination specific and gives you the total freight entering the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • State-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, DC. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • FAF Region-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF Regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Commodity: You can select Combine Total, Select All, or one or multiple individual commodities.
    • Combine Total is not commodity specific and provides total freight moved.
    • Select All provides tabulations for each commodity individually.
  • Domestic Mode: You can select Combine Total, Select All or one or multiple individual modes
    • Combine Total is not mode specific and provides total freight moved by all modes.
    • Select All provides tabulations for freight moved by each mode individually.

Once you have completed your selections, click the Submit button and the results will be provided on the screen with an option to download to a CSV file.

3.1.1.4 Export Flows

Export Flows tabulates freight moved from domestic origins to foreign destinations. Geographies for this type of flow tabulation include Domestic Origin, Domestic Zone of Exit, and Foreign Destination. Mode of transportation provided in this option consists of two types, domestic mode (used between a domestic origin and zone of exit) and foreign mode (used between a zone of exit and foreign destination). Tabulation categories are:

  • Years: You can select one or more years. Results will be provided for each year selected.
  • Measure: You can Select All, Tons, Ton-miles, or Values.
  • Domestic Origin: You can select Combine National Total, State-Specific info, or FAF Region-Specific info.
    • Combine National Total is not origin specific and gives you the total freight leaving the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • State-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • FAF Region-Specific info changes the options in the pull down menu to the 123 FAF Regions. You can then select all, one, or multiple regions.
  • Domestic Zone of Exit: You can select Combine National Total, State-Specific, or FAF Region-Specific.
    • Combine National Total is not zone specific and gives you the total freight leaving the United States. See cautionary note below about flows within region/states.
    • State-Specific Zone changes the options in the pull down menu to the 50 States and Washington, D.C. You can then select All, one, or multiple States.
    • FAF Region-Specific Zone changes the options in the pull down to the 123 FAF Regions. You can then select All, one, or multiple regions.
  • Domestic Mode: You can select Combine Total, Select All or one or multiple individual modes
    • Combine Total is not mode specific and provides total freight moved by all modes.
    • Select All provides tabulations for freight moved by each mode individually.
  • Foreign Destination: You can select Combine Total, Select All, or one or multiple foreign destinations.
    • Combine Total is not destination specific and gives total freight leaving the United States.
    • Select All provides tabulations for each foreign region individually.
  • Commodity: You can select Combine Total, Select All, or one or multiple individual commodities.
    • Combine Total is not commodity specific and provides total freight moved.
    • Select All provides tabulations for each commodity individually.
  • Foreign Mode: You can select Combine Total, Select All or one or multiple individual modes.
    • Combine Total is not mode specific and provides total freight moved by all modes from the selected Zone of Exit to the selected Foreign Destination.
    • Select All provides tabulations for freight moved by each mode individually.

Once you have completed your selections, click the Submit button and the results will be provided on the screen with an option to download to a CSV file.

A NOTE OF CAUTION about determining value, tons, or ton-miles for an individual region or state: When you select Combine Total for a domestic origin or destination, the results will include freight that is moving within the region or state (i.e. Kansas to Kansas) as well as all freight entering or leaving the region or state. Therefore, if you want to identify only the freight that is moving into and/or out of a specific region or state, you will need to perform a separate tabulation selecting the region or state of interest as both the origin and destination and then subtract those results from the total results obtained in the initial tabulation.

3.1.2 FAF3 Regional Datasets

For users that require the complete database of regional flows by origin, destination, commodity and mode, FAF3 provides three zipped files for download:

  • FAF3 Regional Database for 2007 with forecasts through 2040, and 2010 Provisional Data in zipped Microsoft Access format [faf3.3_access03.zip, 122MB]. Tables in this database include:
    • faf33_data – 2007 and 2015 through 2040 forecasts
    • faf33_prov – 2010 provisional estimates
    • Commodity – Lookup table for commodity codes
    • iZone – Lookup table for international zones
    • izone_long – Lookup table for international zones
    • Mode – Lookup table for modes
    • State – Lookup table for states and Washington, D.C. (not needed)
    • Trade – Lookup table for type of Trade
    • Zone – Lookup table for FAF3 Zones: short description
    • Zone_Long – Lookup table for FAF3 Zones: long description
  • FAF3 Regional Database for 2007 with forecasts through 2040 in zipped CSV format [faf3_3.zip, 95MB]
  • FAF3 Provisional Annual Data for 2010 in zipped CSV format [faf3_3_prov2010.zip, 22MB]

The CSV files do not include lookup tables so you will need the Data Dictionary in Table 5 to interpret the codes. The Data Dictionary also provides the meaning of the field headings used in all three files.

Be aware that these databases are extremely large, involving 3 measures across 8 different years for 123 regions that serve as domestic origins, destinations, and zones of entry/exit, 8 foreign regions, 43 commodity classes, and 8 modes of transportation which, in combination, result in approximately 1.72 million records.

3.1.3 FAF3 State-Level Datasets

The state version of the FAF regional dataset aggregates domestic origins, destinations and zones of entry/exit, to the 50 States plus the District of Columbia. In addition, reprocessed flows for 1997 and 2002 are included at the state level. These historic files are provided for the first time in FAF3.3, and although flows have been reprocessed with FAF3 methodology, many of the source data sets are unchanged, which may result in some values that are not adequate for trend or other analysis. As you use these data, please provide feedback to the FAF team.

The state-level databases include:

  • FAF3 State Database for 2007 with forecasts through 2040, 2010 Provisional Data, and Reprocessed State Annual Data for 1997 and 2002 in zipped Microsoft Access format [faf3_3_access03_state.zip, 77MB]. Tables in this database include:
    • faf33_stateOD – 2007 and 2015 through 2040 forecasts
    • faf33_prov – 2010 provisional estimates
    • faf33_02rep – 2002 reprocessed state annual data
    • faf33_97rep – 1997 reprocessed state annual data
    • Commodity – Lookup table for commodity codes
    • iZone – Lookup table for international zones
    • izone_long – Lookup table for international zones
    • Mode – Lookup table for modes
    • State – Lookup table for states nd Washington, D.C.
    • Trade – Lookup table for type of Trade
  • FAF3 State Database for 2007 with forecasts through 2040 in zipped CSV format [faf3_3_state.zip,49MB]
  • FAF3 State Provisional Annual Data for 2010 in zipped CSV format [faf3_3_prov2010state.zip, 8MB]
  • FAF3 Reprocessed State Annual Data for 1997 in zipped CSV format [faf3_3_1997_state.zip, 10MB]
  • FAF3 Reprocessed State Annual Data for 2002 in zipped CSV format [faf3_3_2002_state.zip, 7MB]

The CSV files do not include lookup tables so you will need the Data Dictionary in Table 5 to interpret the codes. The data dictionary also provides the meaning of the field headings used in all five files.

Although not as large as the regional databases, the state-level databases are still very large with approximately 500,000 records.

3.2 Summary Statistics and Other Products

FAF3 includes several pre-generated data products providing commonly used statistics and maps related to the movement of goods. Statistics reports are typically Excel spread sheets which can be opened, viewed, and saved or downloaded for later processing. Maps are provided in jpg or pdf format and can be viewed and/or downloaded.

State Profile Tables. A series of Excel worksheets were generated using total flows that moved between domestic origins and destinations, including both domestic and foreign shipments. The foreign shipments represent flows between the region of entry and destination state for imported shipments and flows between the origin state and region of exit for exported shipments. Modes of transportation provided in these tables are the modes used within domestic regions. A total of 20 worksheets are available, one each for 1997, 2002, 2007, the most recent year, and 2040 of the following:

  • Shipments within, from, and to state by mode by value/weight/ton-miles
  • Shipments within, from and to state by commodity by value/weight/ton-miles
  • Top ten commodities shipped within, from, and to state by value/weight/ton-miles
  • Top trade partners by state by value/weight/ton-miles

The worksheets contain a spreadsheet for each measure and its corresponding percentage of the total measure which is accessed by clicking on the appropriate tab at the bottom of the Excel worksheet, where md (Million Dollars) is value, kt (kilotons) is weight, and tm (ton-miles) is ton-miles. The worksheet for the most recent year contains a spreadsheet for each measure and includes a separate spreadsheet which provides current value ($current).

Pivot Tables. These worksheets contain pivot tables that filter and format FAF data into easily readable and printable tables. When a worksheet is first opened, it defaults to the value spreadsheet for Alabama. Any table heading that has a small icon to the right of it has a filter that allows you to change what is displayed by clicking on the icon and checking the desired box(s) in the drop-down menu. You should be aware that these filters do not carry over from spreadsheet to spreadsheet and you will need to enter them for each one.

Note: the Trade Partners worksheet initially displays the top six partners (To State) of the selected state(s) (From State) in descending order of value, weight, or ton-miles. You can explicitly select the trade partners to be displayed by using the corresponding filters.

Freight Maps. A series of maps that appear in FHWA's Office of Freight Management and Operations publications can be viewed and saved in high-resolution JPEG format and in resolution-independent PDF format. These are available under the heading National Freight Transportation Maps on the National Statistics and Maps web page.

3.3 Network Data

The Freight Analysis Framework estimates commodity movements by truck and volume for truck-only, moves over a modified National Highway Planning Network (NHPN). Models are used to disaggregate interregional flows from the Origin-Destination Database into flows between localities and to assign these flows to individual highways using average payloads per truck and truck counts on individual highway segments. Using route number and milepost, functional classification of the highway, number of lanes, and other highway characteristics for individual highway links, truck tonnage is assigned to the network segments. Models used to disaggregate flows are based on geographic distributions of economic activity rather than a detailed understanding of local conditions, and the resulting network flows should not be used as a substitute for local data to support local planning and project development.

The resulting data are available in three formats: two for use in commonly available Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software (ESRI's ArcGIS and Caliper's TransCAD) and one that can be loaded into any database software. The following zipped files are available for download from the Highway Network Data page:

  • GIS Network layers
    • ESRI's ArcGIS Format [faf3_1_1_esri_rv.zip, 49MB]
    • TransCAD Format [faf3_1_1_transcad_rv.zip, 26MB]
    • Metadata [HTML, PDF 39KB]
  • FAF3 Regions GIS Boundary Layer
  • FAF Output (for use in non-GIS applications)
    • faf3_1_1_data_rv.dbf [38MB]
    • Data Dictionary [HTML, PDF 15KB]

GIS Layers and Data. To use the GIS datasets, you need either ArcGIS or TransCAD (or a GIS package that can import ESRI's shapefile format) and are expected to know how to use the software. The two network GIS datasets are arc or link layers with the truck and volume information included as attributes associated with each arc/link in the layer. Table 6 provides the data dictionary for these layers. FAF region boundary layers are made available in each format for your convenience to assist in further geospatial analysis and creating maps but do not include any attributes other than zone ID and abbreviated name. These are GIS layers and, as such, each zip file contains multiple files that must remain together to be accessible by the corresponding GIS software.

FAF Output File. The FAF Output file that is available under the Network Data section is a standard DBF file that can be imported into any database software and most spreadsheets and modeling tools. It does not include geospatial location information, but does include unique route identifiers with beginning and ending mileposts for each link, which allows it to be used with tools and software that support linear referencing.

4.0 Relationship of FAF to Other Data Sources

The FAF combines information from the Commodity Flow Survey and a variety of other sources to estimate the volume and value of freight shipped by mode. These estimates are different than estimates based on freight carried by each mode. Each mode carries shipments that may start or end on another mode. All freight carried by rail is counted in the Rail Waybill Sample, including shipments that complete their journey on water and are counted in Waterborne Commerce Statistics. FAF freight by rail is rail only, water is water only, and shipments by rail and water are in multiple modes and mail. The total freight carried should equal the total freight shipped to, from, and within the United States plus freight that moves through the United States moving between foreign countries.

Commodity Flow Survey. The majority of freight estimated in the FAF is measured in the Commodity Flow Survey. The Commodity Flow Survey includes shipments from mines, manufacturing facilities, warehousing establishments, and selected other industries. The FAF uses a variety of data and models to estimate shipments that are out of scope for the Commodity Flow Survey, such as imports, crude petroleum by pipeline, and shipments from farms. As a consequence, FAF estimates are higher than estimates from the Commodity Flow Survey. While not as complete as the FAF, the Commodity Flow Survey has greater commodity detail, identifies hazardous cargo, and relates commodities to industries.

Rail Waybill Sample and Waterborne Commerce Statistics. The FAF uses both Rail Waybill Sample and Waterborne Commerce Statistics. However, modal totals are very different between these datasets and the FAF. Specific examples of this difference include the following. (1) While the FAF measures freight shipped (excluding multiple modes from rail and water), the Rail Waybill and Waterborne Commerce measure freight carried (including all single- and multiple-moves by rail and by water). (2) The Rail Waybill and Waterborne Commerce can also count tonnage multiple times when the movement involves either multiple railroads for the Waybill or a combination of deep sea, inland water, and intra-harbor moves for the Waterborne Commerce data. These moves are only measured once in the FAF. (3) Puerto Rico is counted with domestic flows in Waterborne Commerce and as part of Rest of the Americas in the FAF.

Gross Domestic Product. The most notable difference between the FAF and other data sources is that the value of freight reported in the FAF exceeds Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The FAF counts each commodity move during the year, such as grain from farm to grain elevator which then moves from elevator to flour mill which them becomes flour moving from mill to bakery which becomes bread worth $2,000 from the bakery to the retail store. GDP counts net value: the value of bread consumed by households during the year plus the value of grain and flour still in storage and bread still on the shelves at the end of the year. The FAF counts transactions throughout the year while GPD measures value at the end of the day.

5.0 Where to Go for More Information and Help

FAF3 data, documentation, and related material are posted at:

http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/faf/

FAF quality depends on customer feedback. The databases are huge, and unexpected results do not always appear until users dig into the details. Most unexpected freight flows have plausible explanations, but some appear to be improperly assigned among modes or commodities. Corrections are made and documented with each release. You are encouraged to provide feedback as you identify values that appear to be unusual, anomalous, or incorrect.

Questions and comments should be directed to faf@dot.gov.

Table 1: FAF Modes
Code Mode Description
1 Truck Includes private and for-hire truck.
Does not include truck that is part of Multiple Modes and Mail or truck moves in conjunction with domestic air cargo.
2 Rail Includes any common carrier or private railroad.
Does not include rail that is part of Multiple Modes and Mail.
3 Water Includes shallow draft, deep draft, Great Lakes and intra-port shipments.
Does not include water that is part of Multiple Modes and Mail.
4 Air (includes truck-air) Includes shipments typically weighing more than 100 pounds that move by air or a combination of truck and air in commercial or private aircraft. Includes air freight and air express.
Does not include shipments weighing 100 pounds or less which are typically classified with Multiple Modes and Mail. In the case of imports and exports by air, domestic moves by ground to and from the port of entry or exit are categorized with Truck.
5 Multiple Modes and Mail Includes shipments by multiple modes and by parcel delivery services, U.S. Postal Service, or couriers. This category is not limited to containerized or trailer-on-flatcar shipments.
6 Pipeline Includes crude petroleum, natural gas, and product pipelines.
Note: Does include flows from offshore wells to land which are counted as Water moves by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Does not include pipeline that is part of Multiple Modes and Mail.
7 Other and Unknown Includes movements not elsewhere classified such as flyaway aircraft, and shipments for which the mode cannot be determined.
8 No Domestic Mode Includes shipments that have an international mode, but no domestic mode and is limited to import shipments of crude petroleum transferred directly from inbound ships to a U.S. refinery at the zone of entry. This is done to ensure a proper accounting of import flows, while avoiding assigning flows to the domestic transportation network that do not use it.

Table 2: FAF Commodity Codes
Code Commodity Description
1 Live animals and live fish
2 Cereal grains
3 Other agricultural products
4 Animal feed and products of animal origin, n.e.c.
5 Meat, fish, seafood, and their preparations
6 Milled grain products and preparations, bakery products
7 Other prepared foodstuffs and fats and oils
8 Alcoholic beverages
9 Tobacco products
10 Monumental or building stone
11 Natural sands
12 Gravel and crushed stone
13 Nonmetallic minerals n.e.c.
14 Metallic ores and concentrates
15 Coal
16 Crude petroleum
17 Gasoline and aviation turbine fuel
18 Fuel oils
19 Coal and petroleum products, n.e.c.* (includes Natural gas)
20 Basic chemicals
21 Pharmaceutical products
22 Fertilizers
23 Chemical products and preparations, n.e.c.*
24 Plastics and rubber
25 Logs and other wood in the rough
26 Wood products
27 Pulp, newsprint, paper, and paperboard
28 Paper or paperboard articles
29 Printed products
30 Textiles, leather, and articles of textiles or leather
31 Nonmetallic mineral products
32 Base metal in primary or semi-finished forms and in finished basic shapes
33 Articles of base metal
34 Machinery
35 Electronic and other electrical equipment and components and office equipment
36 Motorized and other vehicles (including parts)
37 Transportation equipment, n.e.c.*
38 Precision instruments and apparatus
39 Furniture, mattresses and mattress supports, lamps, lighting fittings, and illuminated signs
40 Miscellaneous manufactured products
41 Waste and scrap
43 Mixed freight
99 Commodity unknown
*n.e.c. = not elsewhere classified

Table 3: FAF Domestic Regions
Code FAF Regions* State of FAF Region State/Remainder of State which includes Part of this CMA* Type of Region**
19 Alabama, Remainder of State AL RoS
20 Alaska AK State
361 Albany NY CMA
49 Arizona, Remainder of State AZ RoS
50 Arkansas AR State
131 Atlanta GA AL CMA
481 Austin TX MSA
241 Baltimore MD Partial CMA
221 Baton Rouge LA CMA
482 Beaumont TX MSA
11 Birmingham AL CMA
251 Boston MA NH CMA
362 Buffalo NY CMA
69 California, Remainder of State CA RoS
451 Charleston SC MSA
371 Charlotte NC SC MSA
171 Chicago IL WI CMA
181 Chicago IN WI
391 Cincinnati OH IN, KY CMA
392 Cleveland OH CMA
89 Colorado, Remainder of State CO RoS
393 Columbus OH CMA
99 Connecticut, Remainder of State CT RoS
483 Corpus Christi TX CMA
484 Dallas TX CMA
394 Dayton OH CMA
100 Delaware DE State
81 Denver CO CMA
261 Detroit MI CMA
485 El Paso TX MSA
129 Florida, Remainder of State FL RoS
139 Georgia, Remainder of State GA RoS
262 Grand Rapids MI CMA
372 Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC CMA
452 Greenville-Spartanburg SC CMA
91 Hartford CT CMA
159 Hawaii, Remainder of State HI RoS
151 Honolulu HI MSA
486 Houston TX CMA
160 Idaho ID State
179 Illinois, Remainder of State IL RoS
189 Indiana, Remainder of State IN RoS
182 Indianapolis IN CMA
190 Iowa IA State
121 Jacksonville FL MSA
209 Kansas, Remainder of State KS RoS
201 Kansas City KS CMA
291 Kansas City MO
219 Kentucky, Remainder of State KY RoS
222 Lake Charles LA CMA
487 Laredo TX MSA
321 Las Vegas NV CMA
61 Los Angeles CA CMA
229 Louisiana LA State
211 Louisville KY IN CMA
230 Maine ME State
249 Maryland, Remainder of State MD RoS
259 Massachusetts, Remainder of State MA RoS
471 Memphis TN AR, MS MSA
122 Miami FL MSA
269 Michigan, Remainder of State MI RoS
551 Milwaukee WI CMA
271 Minneapolis MN WI CMA
279 Minnesota, Remainder of State MN RoS
280 Mississippi MS State
299 Missouri, Remainder of State MO RoS
12 Mobile AL CMA
300 Montana MT State
472 Nashville TN CMA
310 Nebraska NE State
329 Nevada, Remainder of State NV RoS
330 New Hampshire NH State
349 New Jersey, Remainder of State NJ RoS
350 New Mexico NM State
223 New Orleans LA CMA
92 New York CT PA CMA
341 New York NJ PA
363 New York NY PA
369 New York, Remainder of State NY RoS
512 Norfolk VA NC MSA
379 North Carolina, Remainder of State NC RoS
380 North Dakota ND State
399 Ohio, Remainder of State OH RoS
409 Oklahoma, Remainder of State OK RoS
401 Oklahoma City OK CMA
419 Oregon, Remainder of State OR RoS
123 Orlando FL CMA
429 Pennsylvania, Remainder of State PA RoS
342 Philadelphia NJ DE, MD CMA
421 Philadelphia PA DE, MD
41 Phoenix AZ MSA
422 Pittsburgh PA CMA
411 Portland OR WA MSA
373 Raleigh-Durham NC CMA
440 Rhode Island*** RI State
511 Richmond VA MSA
364 Rochester NY CMA
62 Sacramento CA NV CMA
491 Salt Lake City UT CMA
488 San Antonio TX MSA
63 San Diego CA MSA
64 San Francisco CA CMA
132 Savannah GA CMA
531 Seattle WA CMA
459 South Carolina, Remainder of State SC RoS
460 South Dakota SD State
172 St. Louis IL CMA
292 St. Louis MO
124 Tampa FL MSA
479 Tennessee, Remainder of State TN RoS
489 Texas, Remainder of State TX RoS
42 Tucson AZ MSA
402 Tulsa OK CMA
499 Utah, Remainder of State UT RoS
500 Vermont VT State
519 Virginia, Remainder of State VA RoS
539 Washington, Remainder of State WA RoS
513 Washington VA WV CMA
111 Washington DC WV
242 Washington MD
540 West Virginia WV State
559 Wisconsin, Remainder of State WI RoS
560 Wyoming WY State

* Many CMA boundaries cross more than one state. Major subareas of a CMA are defined as separate FAF regions, one for each state. Small subareas of a CMA are included with the State or Rest of State region identified in this field.
**Type of Region codes:

CMA: Census defined Consolidated Statistical Region
MSA: Census defined Metropolitan Statistical Area
RoS: Rest of State-everything in a state that is not included in a CMA or MSA
State: State that does not include a CMA or MSA

*** Rhode Island state is also Providence CMA



Table 4: FAF Foreign Regions
Code FAF Region
801 Canada
802 Mexico
803 Rest of Americas
804 Europe
805 Africa
806 SW & Central Asia
807 Eastern Asia
808 SE Asia & Oceania

Table 5. Data Dictionary for FAF Datasets
Field Description Codes Comment
fr_orig Foreign region origin Table 4 Imports: Foreign origin
dms_org Domestic region origin Table 3 Domestic: Origin
Imports: Zone of entry
Exports: Origin
dms_orgst Domestic state origin FIPS code Domestic: Origin
Imports: Zone of entry
Exports: Origin
dms_dest Domestic region destination Table 3 Domestic: Origin
Imports: Zone of entry
Exports: Origin
dms_destst Domestic state destination FIPS code Domestic: Origin
Imports: Zone of entry
Exports: Origin
fr_dest Foreign region destination Table 4 Exports: Foreign destination
fr_inmode Foreign inbound mode Table 1 Imports: Mode from foreign origin to zone of entry
dms_mode Domestic mode Table 1 Domestic: Mode
Imports: Mode from Zone of entry to destination
Exports: Mode from origin to zone of exit
fr_outmode Foreign outbound mode Table 1 Exports: Mode from zone of exit to foreign destination
sctg2 Commodity Table 2 Exports: Mode from zone of exit to foreign destination
trade_type Type of trade

1 Domestic Only
2 Import
3 Export
4 In transit (not currently used)

--
value_* Value in $million -- * Year = 2007, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040
also 1997, 2002 in State-level database
Value in 2007 dollars
curval_2010 Value in $million -- For Provisional estimates only
Value in current dollars
tons_* Weight in thousand tons -- * Year = 2007, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040
* Year also 1997, 2002 in State-level database
tmiles_* Ton-miles in million ton-miles -- * Year = 2007, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040
* Year also 1997, 2002 in State-level database

Table 6. Data Dictionary for FAF Network GIS Layer and FAF Output File (indicated as FOF)
Field FAF output file Description
ID Unique Identifier
LENGTH GIS calculated length of segment
DIR

One-way indicator:

1 – One way in direction segment created
0 – Two-way segment
-1 – One way in opposite direction segment created

DATA Unique ID that links to FOF ID
RECTYPE Record Type: L = US highway link, null = Non-US highway link
NETVERSION Version of the FAF Highway Network
STATE State
STFIPS State FIPS code
CTFIPS County FIPS code
SIGN1 Primary sign route
SIGNT1 Primary sign route type
SIGNN1 Primary sign route number
SIGNQ1 Primary sign route qualifier
SIGN2 Secondary sign route
SIGNT2 Secondary sign route type
SIGNN2 Secondary sign route number
SIGNQ2 Secondary sign route qualifier
SIGN3 Tertiary sign route
SIGNT3 Tertiary sign route type
SIGNN3 Tertiary sign route number
SIGNQ3 Tertiary sign route qualifier
LNAME Local street name
MILES Length of the segment in miles
KM Length of the segment in kilometers
FCLASS FHWA functional classification
RUCODE Indicator for rural or urban segment
STATUS Operational status of segment
NHS Indicator for whether the segment is part of the National Highway System
NN National network
TRK_TYPE

Truck Route Type:

1 – State truck route
2 – NN
3 – LCV route
5 – Restricted route
6 – Low clearance
8 – NN and low clearance
9 – NN and restricted
11 – Hazmat restricted

LCV_TYPE

Commercial Vehicle Type :

1 – Double less than 100'
3 – Doubles up to and over 100'
5 – Doubles less than 100' and triples
7 – Doubles up to and over 100' and triples

USLRS_KEY FOF Unique state route identifier for linear referencing
BEG_MP FOF Beginning mile post value of segment
END_MP FOF Ending mile post file of segment
FAFVERSION FOF FAF version
AADT07 FOF Average Annual daily traffic for 2007: derived from 2008 HPMS (Volume/day/route)
AADTT07 FOF Average Annual daily truck traffic for 2007: derived from 2008 HPMS, state truck percentage and functional class specific defaults. (Volume/day/route)
FAF07 FOF FAF3.1 truck volume estimated based on the FAF3.1 Origin-Destination truck-only tonnage and includes empty trucks. (Volume/day/route)
NONFAF07 FOF Local truck traffic that is not part of FAF3.1 truck estimates. (Volume/day/route)
AADT40 FOF Local truck traffic that is not part of FAF 3.11 O-D database. Volume/day/route
AADTT40 FOF Year 2040 forecast Annual Average Traffic Volume estimated using the HPMS 20 years growth factors and projected to future using linear growth. Volume/day/route
FAF40 FOF Forecast Annual Average Truck Volume estimated using the HPMS 20 years growth factors and projected to future using linear growth. Volume/day/route
NONFAF40 FOF Year 2040 FAF 3.1 long distance truck volume estimated based on the forecasted FAF 3.1 Origin-Destination truck tonnage and includes empty trucks. Volume/day/route
CAP07 FOF Year 2040 Local truck traffic that is not part of FAF 3.11 O-D database. Volume/day/route
SF07 FOF Link specific peak capacity estimated using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000 and the arc geometry provided in 2008 HPMS database. Volume/hour/route
VCR07 FOF Estimated service flow using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000 and arc geometry, FAF truck, non-FAF truck and passenger volume. Volume/hour/route
SPEED07 FOF 2007 estimated volume to capacity ratio, estimated by dividing SF07 with CAP07. Unit less
DELAY07 FOF 2007 estimated peak period link speed, estimated using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000 and the arc geometry provided in 2008 HPMS database. miles/hour
CAP40 FOF 2007 estimated peak period link delay, estimated using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000 and the arc geometry provided in 2008 HPMS database. In hours
SF40 FOF Link specific peak capacity estimated using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000. Volume/hour/route
VCR40 FOF 2040 estimated volume to capacity ratio, estimated by dividing SF40 with CAP40. Unit less
SPEED40 FOF 2040 estimated peak period link speed, estimated using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000. Miles/hour
DELAY40 FOF 2040 estimated peak period link delay, estimated using the procedures outlined in HCM 2000. In hours
TONS_07 FOF Daily FAF truck Tonnage on the link 2007
TONS_40 FOF Daily FAF truck Tonnage on the link 2040

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