Chart of the Day – Freight Mode Share

Today’s Chart of the Day is a table of freight mode share in Minnesota

Freight Mode Share in Minnesota (by ton miles); 2002-2011

Freight Mode Share in Minnesota (by ton miles); 2002-2011

Source: MnDOT  Annual Transportation Performance Report 2012

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5 Responses to Chart of the Day – Freight Mode Share

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke April 17, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    why has barge traffic declined so dramatically?

    • hokan April 17, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Barge traffic is probably a small portion of freight shipped by water. I’m guessing shipping through the port of Duluth accounts for more.

      Still, the broader question remains; Why the dropoff in water freight?

      • Matt Steele April 17, 2014 at 11:29 am #

        The chart is freight mode by weight rather than volume, so I bet the majority is a dropoff in taconite shipments.

        A taconite facility in Eveleth closed about a decade ago, and there was also the closure of the LTV taconite facility in Hoyt Lakes (not sure if that was before or after the 2002 number). There may have been other closures too. These also caused the closure of the LTV railroad and the docks at Taconite Harbor.

        There might also be changes to Minnesota numbers due to railroad consolidation moving freight volume over to the Superior side of the port. CN Railway purchased the DM&IR in 2004. They probably still use the MN ore docks at Duluth and Two Harbors, but maybe volume has moved to docs in WI or MI or even an increase in taconite trains all the way to the rust belt mills.

        • Bill Lindeke
          Bill Lindeke April 18, 2014 at 10:24 am #

          Jeez, Matt. Do you know everything? It seems that you do!

        • Nathanael April 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

          Thanks for the information.

          I wish there were some way to disaggregate this data into “bulk” vs. “boxed”. I know how to get rail data separately for bulk shipments vs. boxcar/intermodal shipments, but I don’t know how to get it for trucking or barges.

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