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Study shows transportation has higher impact on economy than once thought

OTTAWA, Ont. -- A new study by Statistics Canada suggests transportation services make a far bigger contribution to...

OTTAWA, Ont. — A new study by Statistics Canada suggests transportation services make a far bigger contribution to Canada’s economy than thefor-hire transportation industry alone would indicate.

“(The) study shows that the impact of the sector goes well beyond the many companies that provide “for-hire” transportation services, that is, those that use aircraft, trucks, ships or other equipment to offer services to clients for a fee in the market place,” reads the online report on The Daily Web site. “Transportation in Statistics Canada’s System of National Accounts, which is used to evaluate the performance of the Canadian economy, only identifies for-hire services. In addition to th e for-hire sector, many industries, such as the wholesaling sector, produce their own transportation services by operating fleets of trucks, buses or ships, and so on. This is referred to as “own-account”, “in-house” or “private” transportation.

“The study found that the for-hire transportation industry itself accounts for about 3.7% of economic output as measured by gross domestic product. However, when own-account services are included, the contribution of the entire sector jumps to 6.3%. This places transportation’s contribution ahead of several major industrial groupings, such as retail trade, construction and the huge mining, oil and gas sector. Still, transportation’s contribution was about one-third of that of the manufacturing sector and the finance, insurance and real estate sector.

“The study estimates the total contribution of transportation to the economy in 2000 amounted to nearly $64 billion. Of this total, own-account transportation services represented about 42%, or nearly $27 billion. In contrast, the contribution of manufacturing to the economy was estimated at just over $186 billion.

“The composition of the two transportation components, for-hire and own-account, is quite different. Truck and delivery van services dominate own-account transportation, accounting for nearly 89%. The remaining 11% consists of small proportions for air, rail, water, bus and other ground transportation. On the other hand, truck and delivery services accounted for only 45% of the for-hire component, while air represented nearly 13%, rail 11% and water 2.5%.”

For the full report visit

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