Transportation Economic Trends

Cost of Transportation:

Costs Faced by Businesses Purchasing Transportation Services

This page discusses the costs faced by businesses purchasing transportation services. Businesses purchase transportation services to acquire raw materials, move the goods they produce, and transport personnel. The cost of transportation services is an indicator of the price that businesses face when purchasing transportation services. Costs Faced by Producers discuss the costs faced by businesses that produce transportation services to move people and goods.

2022 Year-in-Review

  • In 2022, the amount received for producing air, rail, truck, and water transportation services reached their all-time high level, suggesting an increase in the cost businesses face for these transportation services.
  • The price of water transportation services increased the most, at 25.3 percent, followed by air (21.6 percent) and truck transportation (20.0 percent) in 2022. The price for rail transportation increased the least at 9.3 percent.
  • The price increases for water, truck, and air transportation services in 2022 are the largest year-over-year increases on record (with records beginning in 2004), and the increase for rail is the third largest after 2008 and 2005, respectively.

Costs Faced by Businesses Purchasing Transportation Services


The Producer Price Index (PPI) for producing transportation services measure the average change over time in the amount received by producers for selling their transportation services—an indicator of the cost of transportation services.
Air, rail, and water transportation include both passenger and freight services. Truck transportation include only freight services.
 The PPIs do not reflect the full cost to purchase transportation services, because they do not include sales and excise taxes that businesses and households pay for the services.
Annual data are an average of monthly values.

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Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends (Washington, DC: 2022).

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.
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