Transportation and storage statistics - NACE Rev. 2
From Statistics Explained
- Data from April 2012, most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database
This article presents an overview of statistics for the European Union’s (EU’s) transportation and storage services sector, as covered by NACE Rev. 2 Section H. Transportation services concern passenger and freight transport, whether scheduled or not, regardless of the transport mode, and also include postal and courier services. Furthermore, the transportation and storage services sector covers warehousing and storage, alongside transport support activities such as terminal and parking facilities (bus and train stations, harbours, airfields, car parks), infrastructure operations (such as rail networks, waterway locks, roads, bridges, tunnels, air traffic control), support services (towing, shunting, berthing, pilotage), cargo handling and freight forwarding. The sector is mainly structured according to the different modes of transport, and contains five different NACE divisions, as follows:
- land transport by rail, road and pipeline (Division 49);
- sea and coastal water transport and inland water transport of freight and passengers (Division 50);
- passenger air transport, as well as freight air transport and space transport (Division 51);
- warehousing and support activities for transportation (Division 52);
- postal and courier activities (Division 53).
The transportation and storage services sector does not include the major repair or alteration of transport equipment which is part of repair activities within the manufacturing sector (Section C), nor the construction, maintenance and repair of transport networks (such as roads and railways) or terminals (such as harbours and airfields) which is part of the construction sector (Section F). Travel agencies and tour operators are also excluded as these are covered within administrative and support service activities (Section M). Training in the operation of transport equipment is considered as an education activity, while the operation of marinas is considered part of sports activities and amusement and recreation activities (note that both of these activities lie outside the delineation of the non-financial business economy and are traditionally not covered by structural business statistics).
The transportation and storage services sector focuses on transport services provided to clients for hire and reward. When analysing transport traffic volumes (for example, tonnes of freight) it is important to bear in mind that these include own account transport as well as transport services for hire and reward. This is particularly important in road transport where, for example, a manufacturer might collect materials or deliver own output, rather than contracting a transport service enterprise to do this and equally, the use of own vehicles (typically passenger cars) accounts for a very large part of passenger transport. Such own account transport does not contribute towards the statistics on the transportation and storage services sector.
Main statistical findings
In 2009 there were around 1.1 million enterprises in the transportation and storage sector in the EU-27, equivalent to 5.3 % of the non-financial business economy (Sections B to J and L to N and Division 95) enterprise population. These enterprises employed 10.6 million persons and added EUR 436 600 million of value, which represented 7.8 % of those working in the non-financial business economy and 7.9 % of the wealth generated. The relatively low share of transportation and storage services in the enterprise population indicates that the average size of transportation and storage enterprises (in value added or employment terms) was above the non-financial business economy average; indeed, this sector includes some activities which are dominated by very large enterprises, for example, postal services, air and rail transport.
Several indicators based on labour input show this sector to be quite typical of the non-financial business economy as a whole. The apparent labour productivity of the EU-27's transportation and storage services sector in 2009 was EUR 41 thousand per person employed, which was almost identical to the non-financial business economy average (EUR 41.6 thousand per person employed). Average personnel costs were EUR 31.2 thousand per employee, which was marginally higher than the non-financial business economy average (EUR 30.0 thousand per employee).
In contrast the gross operating rate (the relation between the gross operating surplus and turnover) was 12.2 % in the EU-27’s transportation and storage services sector in 2009, which was above the non-financial business economy average (9.7 %), even though it was the lowest rate among the NACE sections within non-financial services (Sections H to J and L to N and Division 95).
In value added terms, the largest subsector (at the division level) in the EU-27’s transportation and storage services sector was that of land transport and transport via pipelines (Division 49), which accounted for more than two fifths (43.7 %) of sectoral value added in 2009, followed by warehousing and transport support activities (Division 52) which had a share of just under one third (32.4 %). Postal and courier activities (Division 53) was the only other subsector to record a double-digit share of sectoral value added (13.7 %), while water and air transport (Divisions 50 and 51) each accounted for just over 5 % of the total.
The land transport and transport via pipelines share of employment was notably larger, as this subsector employed more than half (54.8 %) of the EU-27’s transportation and storage services sector’s workforce in 2009, while the postal and courier activities subsector also accounted for a larger share of the sectoral employment (17.0 %) than it did of sectoral value added. The three other subsectors accounted for smaller shares of the transportation and storage services sector’s workforce, most notably the water transport subsector (2.1 %).
Consequently, the subsectors recorded quite different levels of apparent labour productivity in 2009. The water transport subsector recorded the highest apparent labour productivity among the five divisions, with an average of EUR 99 thousand per person employed across the EU-27 which was some 60-70 % higher than the corresponding levels recorded for air transport and for warehousing and support activities for transportation (where the second and third highest levels of apparent labour productivity were posted). The two remaining subsectors, namely, land transport and transport via pipelines and postal and courier activities recorded identical and much lower levels of apparent labour productivity (EUR 33 thousand per person employed), well below the non-financial business economy average (EUR 41.6 thousand per person employed).
Average personnel costs rose as high as EUR 64.1 thousand per employee in 2009 for the EU-27’s air transport subsector, more than double the non-financial business economy average (EUR 30.0 thousand per employee). As for apparent labour productivity, the lowest average personnel costs were recorded for land transport and transport via pipelines (EUR 26.9 thousand per employee) and for postal and courier activities (EUR 28.5 thousand per employee), and as such both of the subsectors had average personnel costs that were below the non-financial business economy average.
As a consequence of its very high apparent labour productivity, the water transport subsector recorded the highest wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio among the five transportation and storage services subsectors, with apparent labour productivity equivalent to 201.1 % of the average personnel costs. Warehousing and support activities was the only other transportation and storage services subsector to record a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio (165.9 %) above the non-financial business economy average (138.8 %). The extremely high average personnel costs recorded within the air transport subsector exceeded apparent labour productivity and resulted in a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio that was below parity (94.5 %), contributing to a negative gross operating rate (-0.9 %). Indeed, the air transport subsector was the only one of the five NACE divisions within the EU-27’s transportation and storage services sector to record a gross operating rate below the non-financial business economy average (9.7 %); the highest rate was posted for warehousing and support activities for transportation (15.6 %).
Germany had the highest level of value added among the Member States in three of the five transportation and storage services subsectors that are shown in Table 3, with its share of EU-27 added value rising to more than one third (36.5 %) for water transport, while its share of EU-27 value added for warehousing and transport support activities and postal and courier activities was between one quarter and one fifth (22.0 % and 23.3 % respectively). There was also a relatively high degree of concentration within the air transport subsector, where the United Kingdom had the highest share (24.4 %) of EU-27 value added, while there was a wider distribution of value added within the land transport and transport via pipelines subsector – France recording the highest share (18.4 %).
The Member State most specialised in the transportation and storage sector in employment terms was Denmark, as 15.5 % of the Danish non-financial business economy workforce was employed in this sector; note that these Danish figures refer to 2008 and that the financial and economic crisis may have had a considerable impact in 2009). Nevertheless, the Danish employment share was far ahead of the next most specialised Member State, as Latvia recorded a 12.6 % share in 2009. The high Danish specialisation was mainly due to a particularly high specialisation in land transport which alone accounted for 11.9 % of the non-financial business economy workforce.
All of the Baltic Member States reported that a relatively large share of non-financial business economy value added was generated in the transportation and storage services sector, ranging from a high of 17.3 % in Latvia to 12.5 % in Estonia in 2009. Lithuania reported the highest degree of specialisation for the land transport and transport via pipelines subsector, while Latvia had the highest specialisation in the warehousing and transport support activities subsector. Denmark was the most specialised Member State in the water transport subsector (2008), followed by the Netherlands. Ireland and the United Kingdom were the most specialised Member States in the air transport subsector, while Italy was the most specialised country for postal and courier activities.
Data sources and availability
The analysis presented in this article is based on the main dataset for structural business statistics (SBS) which are disseminated annually. The series provides information for each Member State as well as a number of non-member countries at a detailed level according to the activity classification NACE. Data are available for a wide range of variables.
EU transport policies aim to foster clean, safe and efficient travel throughout Europe, underpinning the internal market for goods and the right of citizens to travel freely throughout the EU. This policy is based upon a 2011 White paper – Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system, which included 40 specific initiatives to build a competitive transport system and aims to increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas, and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals endeavour to dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60 % by 2050. Key goals to be achieved by 2050 include: no more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities; 40 % use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation; at least a 40 % cut in shipping emissions; a 50 % shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and/or waterborne transport.
In most Member States, universal service providers still operate as a monopoly and have exclusive rights within the postal market, balanced by the fact that they have a universal service obligation. Indeed, postal services are of vital importance for commercial users and households alike and are considered as a service of general economic interest. Private operators dominate the express services market, providing letter and parcel services, specifically to the business-to-business, direct mail and business-to-private segments of the market. Since the middle of the 1990’s there have been gradual developments towards market liberalisation for postal and courier services, with parcels and express services markets now fully open to competing operators. The latest amendment (2008/6) of the European Parliament and of the Council to the 1997 Directive on Community postal services was adopted in February 2008 and set out a timetable to abolish restrictions that remain for mail deliveries under 50 grams (known as the ‘reserved area’ for national operators) and open up Europe's postal services market to full competition. The deadline for full market opening was the end of 2010 for 16 of the Member States (which represent 95 % of the internal postal market), with a transitional period until the end of 2012 for the remainder. In 2010, there was a European Commission Decision taken establishing the European Regulators Group for Postal Services , its role is to:
- advise and assist the Commission in consolidating the internal market for postal services;
- advise and assist the Commission on any matter related to postal services within its competence;
- advise and assist the Commission as to the development of the internal market for postal services and as to the consistent application in all Member States of the regulatory framework for postal services;
- consult, in agreement with the Commission, extensively and at an early stage of its expert work with market participants, consumers and end-users in an open and transparent manner.
Further Eurostat information
- SBS – services (sbs_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics for services (NACE Rev.2 H-N and S95) (sbs_na_1a_se_r2)
- Preliminary results on services, main indicators (NACE Rev.2) (sbs_sc_r2preli)
- SMEs - Annual enterprise statistics broken down by size classes - services (sbs_sc_sc)
- Services broken down by employment size classes (NACE Rev.2 H-N and S95) (sbs_sc_1b_se_r2)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- SBS - regional data - all activities (sbs_r)
- SBS data by NUTS 2 regions and NACE Rev.2, from 2008 onwards (sbs_r_nuts06_r2)
- Regulation 58/1997 of 20 December 1996 concerning structural business statistics
- Decision 2367/2002/EC of 16 December 2002 on the Community statistical programme 2003 to 2007
- Regulation 295/2008 of 11 March 2008 concerning structural business statistics
Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)
More detailed analysis of transportation and storage activities: