The Role of Transport Shipping in US Commerce

Transport shipping

Transport shipping is important for the United States economy, as it allows for international trade. Without transport shipping, there would be no way to get goods from other countries into the US. This section of our guide will discuss how to transport shipping affects American commerce, what types of ships are used to transport goods from overseas ports, and some major ports in America that have been developed specifically to handle these imports and exports.

The Shipping Industry in the United States

Shipping is the transportation of goods and materials from one location to another. The shipping industry is responsible for transporting various products across international borders, including food, clothing, and raw materials.

In the United States alone, over $4 trillion worth of goods is shipped yearly, which continues to grow as globalization increases demand for imports from other countries. While many different types of US transport companies are involved in moving these products around (and many more could be added), two stand out as major players: trucking companies and ocean carriers.

Truckers have been delivering cargo since they first hit American roads back in 1914. Today, they make up 80% of all freight deliveries by volume but only 15% by value due to their low cost per mile compared with railroads or barges.* Ocean carriers account for just under half as much volume but carry far more expensive items such as automobiles and computer equipment.

Types of Shipping

Shipping can be divided into two types: bulk shipping and container shipping. Bulk shipping refers to transporting raw materials, such as ores or grains, in their natural state. Container shipping involves transporting goods in typically 20 feet long and 8 feet wide boxes. Tanker ships carry liquid products such as oil or chemicals on board. Roll-on/roll-off ships (ROROs) have ramps that allow vehicles to drive onto trailers that they tow behind them.

Major Ports in America

The United States has the busiest ports globally, with over $1 trillion of cargo moving through them yearly. Major ports include New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles/Long Beach in California, but many other important ones are scattered across America’s coastlines. In addition to these domestic ports, international trade relies on major shipping hubs like Shanghai or Hong Kong. Even smaller countries like Singapore have become important players in global shipping networks thanks to their strategic location between Asia and Europe.

The Importance of Shipping to America

Shipping is a vital part of the US economy. According to the United States Census Bureau, over half of all goods imported into the country come by truck or rail, while another quarter arrives through air freight. The remainder is shipped via waterborne vessels and pipelines.

The impact of shipping on employment can be seen in both direct and indirect jobs created by this industry: according to data from 2014, more than 2 million Americans work in transportation industries related to moving goods around the country. That includes trucking companies that move cargo between ports or warehouses. Shipbuilders build ships for domestic use as well as export. Freight forwarders who manage shipments between countries, stevedores (also called longshoremen) who load and unload cargo onto ships at ports, and dockworkers who handle containers at terminals after loading them onto container ships by crane operators.

Imports and Exports by Port

In addition to the national-level data, we have also provided import and export data by port. The dollar value of exports or imports sorts these tables. You can view these tables by clicking on a particular port in our interactive map or by visiting the Port Statistics page.

You can also view this information for all major ports in one place using our interactive table below:

How Much Does Transport Shipping Affect the Economy?

Transport shipping is a major contributor to the US economy. The industry contributes 6.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which makes it second only to agriculture in terms of economic importance. In addition, transportation and warehousing employ 14 million people worldwide, accounting for one-sixth of all jobs in America.

Transport shipping plays a key role in US commerce.

Transport shipping plays a key role in US commerce. It affects the economy, the environment, and even national security. Transport shipping is also crucial for employment opportunities throughout the country.

In 2016, transport shipping generated more than $1.3 trillion in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States, according to a report from The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). The AAPA estimates that if you add ancillary services such as warehousing, drayage, and trucking together with actual vessel arrivals at ports, then these activities contribute another $250 billion annually to GDP through indirect benefits such as wages paid by employers who provide goods or services used on board vessels calling at U.S.-flag ports as well as taxes paid by employees’ households across all industries nationwide.”


Transport shipping plays a key role in US commerce. It is one of the largest industries in America, with over 70% of all goods being transported by sea or air. The shipping industry is crucial for imports, exports, and domestic trade within the country. The US economy relies heavily on transport shipping due to its importance as an international trading partner. Without it, we would not have access to many different goods worldwide at low prices or even free!

Also Read: Cruising the High Seas: How to Choose the Best Ship and Itinerary

Authors bio

Lucas Green is a young digital marketing enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona, US. Passionate about graphic design, social networking, content writing, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes extensively about graphic design, traveling, and business for SEO Thugs.

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