Each year, close to 2 billion tons of hazardous materials are produced in the United States. The amount of hazardous materials shipments that are shipped each year is approximately three billion tons. Each shipment will be moved several times before reaching its destination. Bulk transportation of hazardous materials includes overland shipping by tanker truck and rail tank car, and by special containers that are loaded onto vehicles. Over water, ships loaded with specialized containers, tanks, and drums are used. In small quantities, hazardous materials require specially designed packaging for truck and air shipment.
The total cost of corrosion for hazardous materials transportation is at least $0.887 billion per year. The elements of this cost include the corrosion-related cost of transport vehicles ($400 million per year), the cost of specialized packaging ($487 million per year), and the direct cost of $0.5 million per year of accidental releases and other corrosion-related transportation incidents. The indirect costs of releases are not known.