Transport and Storage Global Industry Overview

October 2021

The briefing examines how transport and storage industry performs globally and in the largest countries in terms of transport and storage output. The report also provides data for production, market size, imports, exports, industry’s costs, industry’s profitability and number of companies. The industry and market overview provide benchmarks against other countries in the region.

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Key Findings

Shift towards sustainability

Decarbonisation of the transport industry remains one of the key global priorities, given the significant role the industry plays in carbon emissions. Amid the rising environmental awareness, governments and companies across the globe continue to focus on transition towards more sustainable transportation and storage systems.


Integration of autonomous and robotic solutions into the transport and storage industry increases efficiency and speed of processes, and reduces labour costs. Acute staff shortages and need for contactless interaction during the pandemic have accelerated the development and adoption of automation by different segments of the industry.

Digital transformation

Introduction of digital technologies continues to bring positive changes for the industry, including improved operational efficiency, flexibility, safety and transparency, as well as cost saving. Hence, the use of big data and artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and blockchain technology continue to play a significant role in the transport and storage industry.

Growing importance of last mile delivery

The rapid expansion of e-commerce and increasing consumers’ demand for convenience have underscored the importance of last mile logistics. In order to slash supply chain costs and minimise delivery times, logistics companies and online retailers continue to invest into last mile fulfilment and distribution centres, as well as fleet expansion.


Examining four trends shaping the transport and storage industry
COVID-19: Impact on transport and storage
The transport and storage industry is set to fully recover from the COVID-19 shock in 2021
Strong demand for freight transportation to support swift industry’s recovery
China continues to dominate in the transport and storage industry
The COVID-19 outbreak hurts transport and storage industry profits
China remains the world’s leading exporter of transport and storage services
Recovering foreign trade and travel flows to support post-pandemic import growth
China and Eastern Europe among the fastest growing transport and storage markets
Lufthansa continues to dominate the global transport and storage industry
Total number of companies expands due to a growing number of new industry participants
Industry concentration remains low in majority of countries
China to remain the key driving force behind the industry’s future development
Many countries are expected to see a recovery over 2021-2022
Key future trends shaping the global industry
China : Industry continues to grow in 2020, albeit at a slower rate
China: Massive transport network expansion to boost industry’s long-term growth
US : I ndustry picks up swiftly following the pandemic-related downturn
US: Industry is poised for stable post-pandemic growth
Japan : Pandemic-induced disruptions severely affect transportation turnover
Japan: Industry is poised to see gradual recovery and slow future growth
India : Industry to see a swift recovery following the COVID-19 downturn
India: Government support to remain essential for the industry’s development
Germany : Industry faces heavy contraction due to the COVID-19 shock
Germany: Industry to witness slow recovery from the COVID-19 effect
France : Turnover of transport and storage companies declines during 2020
France: Long-term development to be driven by a massive economic recovery plan
U K : Transport and storage revenues drop due to the COVID-19 crisis
UK: Following an uptick in 2021, industry growth rate is set to slow down
Russia : Industry’s turnover declines amid weaker demand for freight and passenger transport
Russia: Reviving domestic travel and expanding logistics to drive industry’s recovery
Italy : Transport and storage turnover plunged due to devastating effect of COVID-19
Italy: The industry is poised for slow yet stable recovery on the back of broad state support
Australia : The industry is forecast to see a swift rebound in 2021
Australia: The industry is set to see steady future growth


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