Transportation Economic Trends

Cost of Transportation:

Costs Faced by Producers

The major inputs to produce transportation services include labor, equipment, fuel, and infrastructure. This page discusses equipment prices. See Employment by Industry and Employment by Occupation for labor data; Cost of Fuel for fuel data; and Value of Transportation and Other Infrastructure for infrastructure data.

2022 Year-in-Review

As measured by the Producer Price Index (PPI), the amount received for transportation equipment increased in 2022. The increase continues an upward rise, suggesting a continued increase in the price of transportation equipment.
  • The 2022 price increase for transportation equipment is the largest year-over-year increase (5.3 percent) on record (records begin in 2004). All types of transportation equipment – railroad rolling stock, ships and boats, and automobile and light duty motor vehicles – reached a record high in 2022.
  • Railroad rolling stock and ships and boats saw the largest price increase of 16.1 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, in 2022, followed by automobile and light duty motor vehicles (4.1 percent) and aircraft (3.7 percent).

Costs to Produce Transportation Services

Price for Transportation Equipment

PPI shows the average change over time in the amount received by producers of transportation equipment, for example, the amount received by aircraft manufacturers. If the amount firms receive rises, then the price faced by purchasers likely increases—making transportation equipment a larger cost in producing transportation services.
The price for aircraft, ships and boats, and railroad rolling stock has risen at a faster rate than automobiles.
Annual data are an average of monthly values. 


Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at

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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