Sources: BTS, EU & MLIT.
Modal Split in the EU, United States and Japan, 2005 (in % of tons-km)
Modal split reflects different geographical
conditions in which transport systems operate. While within the European
Union and in Japan road and coastal shipping account for the great majority
of ton-kms, rail dominates in the United States. The continental
and the fragmentation of the American economy into specialized regions
is prone to long distance rail shipments. The reliance on
pipelines to supply the consumption of fossil fuels, namely petroleum
and natural gas, is also apparent, particularly since the United
States is also a producer. For Europe and Japan, the high densities and the relatively short distances
involved favor trucking while the maritime exposure they have, in terms
of coastline, favors a high usage of coastal shipping. No inland
location is more than 200 miles (320 km) from the coast, which
underlines why the share of the road in significant.