Companies in this industry provide air, rail, truck, and waterborne transportation; transit and ground passenger, pipeline, postal, courier and messenger transportation services; and warehousing and storage services. Major companies include Union Pacific, United Continental, UPS, US Postal Service, and YRC (all based in the US), as well as AP Moller Maersk (Denmark), Deutsche Lufthansa and Deutsche Post (Germany), and East Japan Railway and NYK Line (Japan).
Transportation services companies depend highly on the health of the global economy, which affects manufacturing output, commodity trade, consumer and business spending, and business and leisure travel activity. Because many costs are fixed, the profitability of individual companies is determined by efficient operations and on favorable fuel and labor costs. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and the ability to provide more extensive services. Small companies can compete by serving local or regional areas. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest firms generate about 40 percent of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major industries within the transportation services sector include airlines, trucking, railroads, waterborne transportation, transit and ground passenger transportation, and pipeline transportation. Other services include scenic and sightseeing transportation, transportation support activities such as air and water port operations, postal service, couriers and messengers, and warehousing and storage.