Transportation continues to be a large percentage of the global economy.
In the US alone, transportation represents more than 8.5% of GDP, which amounts to more than $1.3 trillion in revenue for the carriers. In the EU, which reports their base numbers slightly differently, it’s more than €533 billion. And an interesting statistic for the EU is that about 13% of the consumer cost or ‘value consumption’ is based on transportation costs. Getting great numbers from the rest of the world is tough, but consider that in China transportation costs represent, by various estimates, between 13% to 18% of their gross domestic product.
Our world relies on trade. And trade moves over the transportation system. According to the World Bank, more than 49% of the goods we use are sourced from global trade. 78% of imports arrive in the US via ocean transport. Our commodities—fuel, grains and so on—still travel on railroads. And virtually all goods travel by truck at some point—on a global basis, finished goods alone may move from truck to truck up to a dozen times.
The transportation and logistics sector in the US employs a large percentage of our population as carriers, warehouse workers, and so on.