Even without high fuel costs, companies in today's global environment are spending more on transportation. Federal Express notes that most companies now spend in the range of 10 percent of their revenues on shipping, up substantially from 2 to 4 percent a decade ago.
That's partly because far more companies are importing and exporting these days. A FedEx survey shows that about half the companies polled expect significant increases in their imports and exports over the next three years, while only 5% expect them to decline. A dominant 80 percent of respondents say cost savings from imports have at least somewhat met their expectations.