Economic recovery to boost freight volumes in 2015. Road freight volumes growing. Falling diesel prices easing pressure on margins in the transport sector.
Volumes growing for five consecutive quarters
The transport sector’s turnover in Q3 of 2014 rose by 2.5 percent relative to the same period a year before. This was the fifth quarter in a row that the sector recorded a higher turnover, to the benefit of most of its branches. For 2015 and 2016, too, ABN AMRO expects turnover to increase as freight volumes rise. The primary driver behind the increasing volumes is the economic recovery; the eurozone is benefitting from the euro’s sharp decline since the spring. The economic growth means that the signs are right for volumes to continue to rise during the next two years.
Growth for road freight volumes
Growth in a number of Dutch sectors is good for road transport. For 2015, ABN AMRO predicts improvements in construction output (+2 percent), industrial output (+3 percent) and retail (+1.5 percent). As a result, road hauliers will have more to transport. This increase in volumes is expected to carry over to 2016. Within the transport sector, courier services are showing a particularly strong growth rate. During Q3 of 2014 this branch of the sector recorded a 9.4 percent rise in turnover, resulting primarily from growing e-commerce volumes.
Positives for inland shipping
Inland shipping is one of the few branches within the transport sector that has not yet reaped the fruits of the growing volumes. Turnover for Q3 of 2014 fell by 1 percent. Nevertheless, ABN AMRO believes that this mode of carriage will end the year with an increased turnover. Overcapacity and low rates remain structural problems for inland shipping, however. Various current developments might provide the sector with a boost, however, for example the economic growth in the eurozone and the falling oil prices. These lower prices might have a favourable impact on margins, causing fuel costs to drop and possibly leading to higher freight volumes for liquid transport.
Read the full ‘Transport and Logistics Sector Forecast’ below (in Dutch).