Colombia Freight Transport Report

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Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the freight transport industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, Freight Transport Risk Reward Index, Macroeconomic Forecast, Company Profiles and Regional and Country Industry Overviews.

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Colombia Freight Transport Report
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BMI View: Despite a subdued outlook for Colombia's economy, we expect steady increases in agricultural output will ensure tepid growth in freight volumes in the coming years. We caution that a more robust expansion will be prevented by a slowdown in the consumer sector, weak global commodities and a lacklustre external picture. As a result, we expect the road and rail will display the largest gains vis-a-vis air freight.

The Colombian economy is set for a sharp slowdown in the coming quarters, as the country struggles in the face of weaker trade dynamics and slowing household spending. Indeed, after real GDP growth of 4.6% in 2014, we forecast expansions of just 2.9% and 3.4% in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Moreover, we expect real GDP growth will remain weak over the coming five years, averaging 3.4% compared to 4.8% in the past half decade, as the impact of weaker oil prices and falling crude production continue to temper the country's economic outlook. This will have a notable impact on the consumer sector, as lower employment prospects will dent disposable income. In turn, demand for road and air freight will be impacted.

Colombia's trade dynamics will become more challenging in the coming years given the global commodity price and demand collapse which will weigh directly on exports and the country's competitiveness. This will have knock-on effects for employment, disposable income and consumer spending and in turn freight demand. Over the medium term, government efforts to diversify the economy will have modest gains, while consumer confidence will begin to rebound. Total trade real growth will average 4.2% between 2016 and 2020.

The road freight sector will continue to dominate the freight mix over 2016, with over 68% of the total market share, followed by rail freight carrying 29% of total freight. We do not anticipate major changes to the freight mix through our forecast period to 2019 given the focus on road infrastructure development in government spending plans. The Pipe 2.0 government stimulus plan is heavily weighted toward spending in the road sector. However, concerns over the impact of weak oil prices on government spending capacity pose risks to project development. In March 2015, President Juan Manuel Santos announced plans to postpone COP6.0tn in planned spending (USD2.4bn) initially slated for the 2015 budget. We expect a reduction of public investment in infrastructure will cause delays in the implementation of projects, particularly in the roads sub-sector. Rail will continue to cater to mining supply chains and be operated mainly by private interests. Meanwhile, stable air freight growth will be driven by increases in the pharmaceutical and cut flower industries.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2015, President Juan Manuel Santos announced plans to postpone COP6.0tn in planned spending (USD2.4bn) initially slated for the 2015 budget, increasing the risk that infrastructure projects will be delayed.

  • Protests have caused multiple delays at Correjon railway facilities, with protestors blockading routes for up to four days in September and October 2015.

  • Net profit at Avianca Cargo increased in H115 to USD10.6mn, compared to a loss of USD9.7mn in H114.

Key Forecasts

  • Road freight tonnage handled will increase by 3.49% in 2016 to 237.6mn tonnes.

  • Rail freight tonnage handled will rise by 7.3% in 2016 to 103.4mn tonnes.

  • Air freight tonnage handled will grow by 3.4% in 2016 to 153,170 tonnes.

BMI Industry View
Freight Transport
Operational Risk
Industry Forecast
Trade Forecast
Table: Trade Overview (Colombia 2013-2020)
Table: Key Trade Indicators (Colombia 2013-2020)
Road Freight Forecast
Table: Road Freight (Colombia 2012-2019)
Rail Freight Forecast
Table: Rail Freight (Colombia 2012-2019)
Air Freight Forecast
Table: Air Freight (Colombia 2012-2019)
Market Overview
Company Profile
Cerrej-n (Logistics)
Avianca (Cargo)
Political Outlook
Domestic Politics
Long-Term Politics
Table: Political Overview
Oil Price Outlook
Europe - Brent On Board For A Bumpy Ride
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Table: Colombia - Key Economic Indicators
Table: Colombia - Private Consumption Forecasts
Table: Colombia - Government Consumption Forecasts
Table: Colombia - Fixed Investment Forecasts
Table: Colombia - Net Exports Forecasts
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Colombia 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Colombia 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Colombia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Colombia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Colombia 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

The Colombia 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 Colombia Freight Transport Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Colombian freight transport and logistics industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent freight transport industry forecasts on Colombia 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 Colombian freight transport sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Colombia.
  • 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 (%)

Market Overview

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.

Political Outlook

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.

Company Profiles*

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.