Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations

Freight Facts and Figures 2012

Table 5-14. Current and Projected Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Emissions by Freight Transportation Mode: 2002 and 2020

Trucks are by far the largest contributor to freight emissions nationally, producing two-thirds of NOx from the freight sector. However, enormous strides have been made in reducing freight emissions of NOx since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required the use of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in heavy-duty trucks and other diesel-powered highway vehicles beginning in 2006.

Table in Excel format

Blank cell. Tons (thousands) Percent
2002 to 2020
2002 2020
Heavy-duty trucks 3,782.0 662.6 -82.5
Freight rail 857.2 486.4 -43.3
Commercial marine 1,011.0 938.6 -7.2
Air freight 8.2 12.4 51.2
Total freight 5,658.4 2,100.0 -62.9


U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Assessing the Effects of Freight Movement on Air Quality at the National and Regional Level, Final Report (Washington, DC: 2005), available at as of July 16, 2012.


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