Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area

Transport matters

Spinning top with boat, train, plane and carThe quality and cost of transport services have a major impact on the ability of business to compete, on economic growth and on quality of life. Transport is fundamental to a more efficient European economy.

  • The transport industry directly employs more than 10 million people, accounting for 4.5% of total employment, and represents 4.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Manufacture of transport equipment provides an additional 1.7% GDP and 1.5% employment.

    Source: Eurostat

  • 13.2% of every household's budget is spent on average on transport goods and services.

    Source: Eurostat

  • Logistics, such as transport and storage, account for 10-15% of the cost of a finished product.

    Source: “Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the key to sustainable mobility”, COM(2006) 336

  • Congestion costs Europe about 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year.

    Sources: TREMOVE and PRIMES-TREMOVE transport models pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]  (Appendix 5 of the Impact Assessment accompanying the White Paper, SEC(2011) 358).

  • In London, 20% of commuters spend more than two hours a day travelling to and from work, which adds up to one working day a week. In Germany, 37% spend one hour a day commuting.

    Sources: Transport for London, 2009, Travel in London ; Mobilität in Deutschland 2008

  • Europe (EU/EEA) has the world’s largest shipping fleet, directly employing some 300 000 seafarers on board merchant vessels and another three million in related jobs. More than 80 000 merchant ships call at European ports every year.

    Sources: ECSA, Bimco/ISF, ITMMA

  • EU airports and airlines currently employ 670 000 people, while some 3.2 million people depend directly or indirectly on the air transport sector.

    Source: Commission Staff Working Document: Impact assessment of the Single Aviation Market on employment and working conditions for the period 1997-2007. SEC(2010) 503 final pdf - 181 KB [181 KB]

  • Over 750 million people – one third of the world market – used EU airports in 2009.

    Source: Eurostat

  • EU sustainable transport solutions will increasingly need to be exported around the world: EU drivers currently own one third of the world’s 750 million cars. The IEA projects that by 2050 car numbers worldwide will increase to more than 2.2 billion, with the sharpest growth in emerging economies.

    Source: International Energy Agency, 2010, Energy Technology Perspectives 2010.

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Last update: 21/06/2016 | Top