Overview of Global Freight Transport

The global movement of freight is facilitated by a complex system of transportation networks, companies, and government agencies. Global freight transport is a key component in the trade of goods and materials, but it can also have significant environmental and economic impacts.

The global trade of goods and materials is a vital driver of economic growth and development, linking trading nations and consumer markets through an increasingly interconnected and interdependent global freight supply chain. International and domestic freight shipping is projected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years and decades as export-oriented economies and developing nations generate more international trade.

A vast and complex system of transportation networks, companies, and government agencies facilitate the movement of global freight. To better understand the impacts of global freight movement, consider that the freight industry transports trillions of dollars’ worth of goods every year to every corner of the globe and back, largely by burning millions of gallons of diesel fuel, which emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants.   

The movement of global freight is also responsible for significant environmental and economic impacts: