Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations

Freight Facts and Figures 2012

Table 4-1. Transportation Fixed Assets: 2000, 2005, and 2009-2011

Fixed transportation assets reflect the significant role of both public and private sectors in moving freight. Freight railroad facilities and services are almost entirely private, while private-sector trucks operate over public highways. Air-cargo services in the private sector operate in public airways and mostly public airports, and ships in the private sector serve public waterways and both public and private port facilities. Pipelines are mostly privately owned, although significantly controlled by public regulation. In the public sector, virtually all truck routes are owned and maintained by state or local governments. Airports and harbors are typically owned by public authorities, although terminals are usually owned or managed by private operators. Air and water navigation is mostly controlled by the Federal government, and safety is regulated by all levels of government.

Total private and public fixed assets grew from just over $26.9 trillion in 2000 to nearly $46.4 trillion in 2011 (current U.S. dollars). Transportation equipment and structures (private and public) accounted for nearly 12 percent of the total in 2011. The components of transportation fixed assets and their 2011 values are private transportation equipment ($1.04 trillion), private transportation structures ($680 billion), and government transportation structures ($3.77 trillion).1

1 Fixed assets include both passenger and freight transportation.  See the Bureau of Economic Analysis at, tables 2.1, 3.1s, and 7.1b.

Table in Excel format | Historical data

Billions of current dollars

Blank cell. 2000 2005 2009 2010 2011 Percent change,
2000 to 2011
Private Sector
Transportation Equipment1 828 980 (R) 1,000 (R) 987 1,037 25.2
Transportation Structures2 450 557 (R) 638 (R) 657 680 51.3
Public Sector
Highways 1,435 2,056 2,836 2,939 3,132 118.2
Transportation Structures2 261 413 564 (R) 590 635 143.6
Federal 6 10 14 14 15 131.3
State and Local 254 403 551 (R) 576 621 143.9

Key: R = revised

1Includes trucks, truck trailers, buses, automobiles, aircraft, ships, boats, and railroad equipment.

2Includes physical structures for all modes of transportation.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Economic Accounts, Fixed Assests Tables, tables 2.1, 3.1s, and 7.1b, available at as of August 30, 2012.


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