Transport is one of the leading economic sectors meeting production and non-production needs of the national economy and population for all types of transportation. In Ukraine, transport of all types is well developed, including railway, motor, sea, air, river, pipeline and electronic transport.
Railway transport plays a leading role in transport communications. It accounts for a major part of freight and passenger transportation.
At present, the total length of Ukrainian railroads is 22,800 km including 8,300 km electrified. The Ukrainian railway transportation system ranks fourth in the world after Russia, the United States and Canada. Ukraine is linked via railways with many countries of the world. It annually transports over 300 million tons of freight and more than 500 million passengers. The railway network density is the highest in the Donbas, Prydniprovia and western regions of Ukraine.
Motor transport development has been boosted recently, with its role steadily growing. Annually, over a billion tons of freight and 2.5 billion passengers are transported. The length of general-purpose motor ways totals 169,000 km. Highways link Ukraine with other countries integrating it with the European motor road network.
There is a favorable environment, both natural and social-economic, for sea transport in Ukraine. The Black Sea and the Sea of Azov do not freeze, providing Ukraine with an access to the Mediterranean through the straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles. The total length of the sea coastal line exceeds 2,000 km. Regular sea transportation started back in the 18th century, and its development continues today. The most significant sea ports are Odesa, Izmail, Illichivsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Sevastopol, Yalta, Feodosia, and Kerch. The Black and Azov Sea Fleets form the basis of the sea transportation system. Ukraine has 18 ports and 8 ship yards.
Air transport is the youngest transportation means. It connects Ukraine with many countries and interlinks nearly all cities of Ukraine. More than 100 airports ensure transportation of freights, mail and passengers to every corner of the country.
Ukraine also has developed pipeline transport. The length of gas pipelines is nearly 35,000 km, that of oil pipelines is 2,500 km. A part of them are trans-European mainlines transporting oil, petrochemicals, natural gas and other products.