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Agricultural Transportation

The Transportation Services Division (TSD) serves as the expert source for economic analysis on agricultural transportation from farm to markets. As part of USDA, we inform, represent, and assist agricultural shippers and government policymakers through: market reports, regulatory representation, economic analysis, transportation disruption reports, technical assistance, outreach to stakeholders, responding to inquiries.

Networking Across the Supply Chain: Transportation Innovations in Local and Regional Food Systems

How do smaller scale, locally-produced farm products get to market? Until recently, most of the distribution efforts of local and regional agriculture have emphasized direct marketing activities, while food freight transportation policy and planning have primarily focused on distribution of large-scale commodities. The need for innovative and scale-appropriate infrastructure and expertise has emerged in response to the market pull. Collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems resulted in the Networking Across the Supply Chain (NASC) conference, held in February 2013 in La Crosse, WI. The conference brought together supply chain participants that have not had an opportunity in the past to interact and share their perspectives. The conference report presents key themes and findings, as well as emergent strategies and innovative solutions to help bring regional food to regional markets.
Illustration: Six key themes covered in Networking Across the Supply Chain: Defining local, market differentiation, logistics, first/last mile, supply chain scale, and supply chain infrastructure.

Read Networking Across the Supply Chain: Transportation Innovations in Local and Regional Food Systems (.pdf).

What's New

U.S. Grain Transportation

Find analysis and information about market developments affecting rail, barge, truck, and ocean vessel movements of grain in these reports.

Transportation of Other Agricultural Products

International Transportation Analysis

Agricultural Transportation Research and Information Center

Find useful information and analysis on the transportation of agricultural products and the four major modes– trucking, railroads, barges, and ocean vessels– used to move food from farms to our tables and to ports for export to foreign markets. Find results of on-going research and analysis presented in issue papers and presentations, as well as additional resources available by mode and commodity.

Regulatory Representation

Find comments provided to various regulatory agencies by USDA and AMS, representing the interests of agricultural shippers under the authority of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, and International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs Act of 1982.


Find datasets that are used in producing many of the Transportation Services Division’s publications. These datasets are now available in Excel format for the transportation of grain, biofuels, and other agricultural products.

  Last Modified Date: 07/09/2014