Contribution of Transportation to the Economy:

Use of Transportation by Industry

Transportation also indirectly contributes to the economy. This page shows transportation's indirect contribution by highlighting the use of transportation in the production of goods and services. Industries rely on transportation to acquire raw materials to produce goods and services and deliver finished goods to markets. 

2018 Year-in-Review
  • In 2018 the service sector used the most transportation ($361 billion) and required the most transportation (13.9 cents) to produce one dollar of output.
  • Utilities used the least transportation ($28 billion) but required the 3rd largest amount of transportation to produce one dollar of output (5.6 cents).

Total Amount of Transportation Used by Industry | Amount of Transportation Required Per Dollar of Output 
Total Amount of Transportation Used by Industry  
Industries rely on transportation services to access supplies and customers. Sectors using the largest amount of transportation services are those producing the most output and hence requiring the largest amount of inputs.

Total Amount of Transportation Used by Industry Amount of Transportation Required Per Dollar of Output 
Amount of Transportation Required per Dollar of Output
Looking at the amount of transportation services required to produce a dollar of output shows how much a sector depends on transportation services. Sectors that use a smaller, total dollar amount of transportation do not necessarily require the least amount of transportation to produce output. For example, the utilities sector uses a smaller, total dollar amount of transportation but requires more transportation per dollar of output than most other sectors. 

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U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at www.bts.gov/product/transportation-economic-trends.


Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.