Try our corporate solution for free!
(212) 419-8286

Rail freight in the U.S. - volume transported 2002-2018

Rail freight volumes in the United States have been increasing since 2016, reaching 2.53 trillion tonne-kilometers in 2018. However, this figure dropped again to 2.36 trillion tonne-kilometers in 2019.

Rail Freight

Owing to its geographic and economic size, the United States has one of the world’s largest freight rail networks. The most common commodities carried by rail in the U.S. are coal, chemicals and grain. Rail freight is especially suited to transporting bulk commodities such as these owing to the higher volumes that can be transported together, and the existence of specialized carriages, such as tank cars designed for transporting chemicals.

Trucking in the United States

Rail is only one segment of the U.S. freight industry, with trucking accounting for the vast majority of freight transported in the United States. While freight trucking also experienced a decline from the middle of the decade, revenue streams have since recovered to create a market worth almost 800 billion U.S. dollars. In total, there were over 895,000 heavy truck drivers in the U.S. in 2019.

Volume of rail freight transported in the United States from 2002 to 2018

Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Single Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Single Account

$39 $59 per month *
in the first 12 months
33% discount until March 31st
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$468 / Year
$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date



United States

Survey time period

2002 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The 2012 figure is taken from a previous edition.
The figures for 2002 through 2011 are taken from the Worldwide Rail Market Study (page 6), published by Roland Berger and UNIFE in September 2012.
The figures have been rounded.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account.

Single Account
The ideal entry-level account for individual users
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 $39 / Month *
in the first 12 months
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Union Pacific Railroad"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.