Top Five Most Transported Goods in the World

Posted 30th June, 2022

Every day, thousands of lorries travel all over the UK. In fact, it is estimated that there are currently 415,000 lorries in use in the UK alone, as well as a huge number of vans. But have you ever stopped to wonder what all these vehicles are carrying? In case you were curious, we’ve had a look at the stats. Read on to learn which are the five most transported goods in the world.

1. Cars

Prior to the effects of the COVID pandemic and the subsequent chip shortage, finished automobiles were the top good traded worldwide, with over $1.35 trillion worth being traded each year between countries, representing almost 5% of the transportation market. While the current market value is estimated to have shrunk, cars continue to hold the top spot. The biggest exporter of finished cars was Germany, while the biggest importer, perhaps surprisingly given their reputation as an automobile manufacturer, was the USA.

2. Refined Petroleum

In second place by market share, based on value, is refined petroleum. According to the most recent data, refined petroleum ranks #2 in terms of global transport, with $825 billion worth of trade. By comparison, crude petroleum and petroleum gas ranked at #8 and #12, for $549 billion and $254 billion traded, respectively. While a huge amount of this is transported by ship, road transport plays a major role in getting products to the final destination.

3. Integrated Circuits

Representing just under 3% of the global markets, integrated circuits take third place in the league table, with a value of $804 billion prior to the recent chip shortage. As of 2016, the biggest exporter of integrated circuits was Hong Kong, while the biggest importer was China.

4. Vehicle Parts

Not far behind completed vehicles are the parts used in their manufacture, which follow closely behind in fourth position. Currently representing 2.5% of the global goods markets, the value of automobile parts shipped was last estimated at $685 billion. As with completed cars, Germany was the largest exporter, while America was the biggest importer.

5. Computers

Interestingly, computers exceed mobile phones in global exports, when measured by market value. According to the latest data, computers accounted for 2.2% of the global transportation market, with a total value of $614 billion. Unsurprisingly, China was the biggest exporter whilst the USA was the biggest importer.

A quick note on food

It is important to note that this ranking is based on market value. In reality, there is one type of goods that likely exceeds all of these as a percentage of what’s actually being transported at any one time – food. In the UK, 98% of all food products are transported by road, easily making it one of the most transported goods.

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