The economic weight of the transport sector

Transport: The dominant economic sector

Keywords: Transport, GDP, cost, economy, vehicles, trucks, sectors, domains, France.

How much does the transport sector weigh in the French economy and what is its social impact?

Not easy to answer because where do the borders of the transport sector start and stop? At the only transport activity? In this case, a socio-economic approach to transport must take into account only the service companies that offer transport services, all modes combined.

To begin with: the activity of carrier, taken as the sum of the French companies engaged in this sector, maintained in 2001 more than one million jobs (24 million jobs in France), and gave a figure of net deal of more than 100 billion euros.

As large as they appear, these numbers reflect only a small portion of the sector. In order to transport, we still need infrastructure, network operators, vehicles, fuel, repairers, police and rescue services, insurance companies, demolition workers, etc.

The only domain of the construction of vehicles, all modes confused, includes considerable parts of the industrial activity, starting with the iron and steel industry, the plastics industry, the tires, the glass, the textile, the paints and varnishes, the electrical equipment, electronic and computer as well as all the elements necessary for the activity of the equipment manufacturers, from the car radio manufacturer to the producer of chrome rims, decorations heat-sealed to the saddles of bicycles!

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How much does the transport sector weigh in these conditions, and what quantities of greenhouse gases does it ultimately emit, if we also include the construction, maintenance and operation of the networks, the share of urban planning? which comes down to the sole need to ensure the flow and the parking of the flow of people and the parking of the flow of people and goods, the petrol stations and the marine facilities, the commercial agents of the public transport and the air controllers , La Défense's specialized magazines and towers (headquarters of the Ministry of Equipment), and the recycling of vehicles, consumables and infrastructure?

Is this complete life-cycle analysis of each link in the transport sector only possible? Some data, to locate the importance.

According to the Comité des Constructeurs Français d'Automobiles, the turnover of the French automotive and equipment industries alone exceeded 120 billion in 2000. At its side, the rail industry is pale with its billion and a half.

Thus, the consolidated turnover of industries and transport services raises the total to more than 220 billion euros.

In terms of jobs, if we add to these market segments the upstream sectors (part dedicated to the transport of metallurgy, glass, textiles, capital goods, electronic equipment, accessories, trailers and caravans, police, health and education, sale of vehicles and their repair, service stations, production of fuels, lubricants and other fluids including refining and chemistry, technical control , demolition and recycling, insurance, experts, credit and driver's license, construction and maintenance of infrastructure including parking and warehousing, the total figure amounts to at least 3,15 million jobs in 2001, 12% of the active population in France!

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The calculations of the French Federation of Automobile-Clubs show that a motorist spends on average 6 200 euros per year for the purchase and use of his vehicle, maintenance, insurance and fuel included. Compared to 29 million registered cars, we obtain the figure of 180 billion euros, 12% of French GDP.

It is very difficult to paint a complete picture of the general transport economy, except to place orders of magnitude. The INSEE Transport accounts confirm in their turn that the amounts mobilized by individuals, companies and public authorities amount to more than 15% of GDP, but it is very likely that they do not include all the segments seen above, while the list is not exhaustive, far from it!

It is no secret that the transport sector, taken in its socio-economic aspects, is the dominant sector of the contemporary economy, devolving in large part to the road mode.

In order to face the urgency of climate change and France's commitments, the transport sector needs new political orientations, requiring the support of all the actors involved: builders, transporters, operators, planners, urban planners and users of transport. transport (especially motorists).

But the balance of power between the different economic and political actors undeniably plays a proactive role in transport harmful toTransport and climate change: a high-risk crossroads published by the Climate Action Network in April 2004.

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