BMI View: Belgium's freight transport sector will continue to grow in 2016 as the domestic and wider economic climate is strengthening, improving trade and consumer demand. Real GDP growth is forecast at 1.6% in 2016, up from the previous estimate of 1.3%. Air freight will witness the sharpest increase, due to an increase in output in the pharmaceutical sector as well as from demand for high value consumer goods. Road and rail freight will also have steady growth due to small increases in heavy industry output. Road freight will continue to dominate the freight sector in Belgium given the established nature of the freight mode with developed highways and trans-border connectivity.
Belgium will see steady economic recovery over the medium term, benefiting the freight sector. We expect real GDP growth to be 1.3% in 2016 and forecast that the economy will expand by an annual average of 1.5% over our forecast period. We expect domestic demand to be the primary driver of growth, particularly private consumption. With a decrease in unemployment, lower oil prices and persistently low inflation, household consumption will also see growth, with demand for consumer goods benefiting the freight sector.
We expect both improving import demand, due to the domestic economic recovery, and an increase in exports, due to the continuing economic recovery in the eurozone and within Belgium's main trade partners. A continued high production level of key export items such as manufactured goods will continue to support export tonnage numbers and boost rail and road freight volumes over the medium term. By 2018, exports of manufactured goods will surpass previous milestone levels, with high single and double digit growth expected from 2017-2019, providing a substantial boost to the road and rail freight sectors in particular.
Belgium's road freight sector will continue to dominate with over 84% share of the overall freight mix in 2016. Road freight will continue to grow at an average 2.8% y-o-y over the medium term. The country's steady economic growth will be the key driver for growth in this sector as it caters for consumer products which will increase with lower oil prices and persistently low inflation supporting household consumption. Rail comes second and can expect tepid growth that will gradually accelerate over the medium term. Steel and motor vehicle production are the two main drivers of the rail freight volumes. The steel sector will see a period of stability after years of decline, while motor vehicle production is forecast to resume its decrease in numbers. The strength of rail freight growth will therefore be weaker than previously, and will on average grow at a rate of 2.05% over our forecast period. Air freight will see the strongest growth largely due to the pharmaceutical sector, with Belgium's pharmaceutical exports forecast to post double-digit growth. We expect air freight to grow steadily at 5.1% on average over our forecast period until 2020.
The Belgium Freight Transport Report has been researched at source, and features latest-available data covering commercial transport and logistics by road, rail, air and water; industry forecasts, company rankings covering leading national and multinational operators; and analysis of latest industry trends, opportunities, projects and regulatory changes.
BMI Research's Belgium Freight Transport Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Belgian freight transport and logistics industry.
- Benchmark BMI's independent freight transport industry forecasts on Belgium to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the strategic freight transport market.
- Target business opportunities and risks in the Belgian freight transport sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Belgium.
- Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs, and latest activity).
BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering freight transport and logistics, regulatory changes, major investments and projects and significant national and multinational company developments.
Industry SWOT Analysis
Analysis of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the freight transport sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.
BMI Industry Forecasts
Historic data series (2008-2012) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry and economic indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast including:
- Transport Sector: Total freight carried by road, rail, inland waterways, maritime, air and pipeline (mn tonnes-km/mn tonnes).
- Trade: Exports and imports (USDmn) by category of goods (manufactured goods, food, chemicals etc.); top five import and export trade partners (USDmn); imports/exports to each global region (USDmn)
- Port Data: Throughput (‘000 tonnes) for all major ports in the state.
- Oil Products Prices: Price forecasts for gasoline and aviation fuel (USD/bbl) at all major global energy trading hubs.
- Economic Indicators: Nominal GDP (USDbn); real GDP growth (%); GDP per capita (USD); industrial production (%); unemployment (%)
Details of the freight infrastructure in each state by segment (road, rail, air, water and pipelines). Full analysis of the competitive landscape within each segment.
Industry Trends and Developments
Analysis of the latest projects across the freight transport sector (road, rail, air, sea and logistics) including a market overview which provides an outline of the key elements driving development.
The Freight Transport market reports contain a chapter detailing the political outlook of a given region, examining the domestic politics, long-term outlook and foreign policy, and assessing the impact this could have on freight and transport businesses.
Examines the short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate company SWOT analyses.
The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.
The Freight Transport reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports
*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.