Although the German transportation network was heavily damaged during World War II, the FRG system is now one of the best developed in Europe (although much of the infrastructure in the former GDR needs significant improvement). Because of the FRG's central location, almost all continental surface traffic has to cross its terrain. In 2002, the railroad system consisted of 44,000 km (27,341 mi) of operational track, with the greater part operated by the government-owned Federal Railways System. About 20,300 km (12,614 mi) of the trackage is electrified.
Highways and roads in 2002 totaled 656,074 km (407,684 mi), of which 650,169 km (40,402 mi) were paved. As of 2000, there were 43,623,454 passenger cars and 4,685,773 commercial vehicles registered.
The total length of regularly used navigable inland waterways and canals was 7,500 km (4,660 mi) in 2002. Canals link the Elbe with the Ems, the Ems with the Dortmund, and the Baltic with the North Sea. The most important inland waterway consists of the Rhine and its tributaries, which carry more freight than any other European waterway. The Kiel Canal is an important connection between the Baltic Sea and North Sea. Major ports and harbors include Berlin, Bonn, Brake, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cologne, Dresden, Duisburg, Emden, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Lubeck, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Rostock, and Stuttgart. In 2001, the FRG had a merchant fleet comprised of 388 ships with a combined capacity of 5,758,942 GRT.
Germany had 625 airports in 2001, of which 328 had paved runways. Major airports include Schonefeld, Tegel, and Tempelhof at Berlin, Halle at Leipzig, Osnabruck at Munster, as well as those at Bremen, Dresden, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne-Bonn, Stuttgart, Nurenberg, and Munich. Lufthansa, organized in 1955, is the major air carrier; its route network includes both North and South America, the Near and Far East (including Australia), Africa, and Europe. In 2001, 57,334,300 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights, and 7,026 million freight ton-km (4,365 million freight ton-mi) of service was performed