Germany 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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Germany Freight Transport Report
Product Price

BMI View: We will continue to see growth in Germany's freight sector in 2016 and over the medium term, despite the sector being affected by the continued slowdown in the e urozone economy and weak emerging market demand. Increased domestic consumption is replacing exports as a key driver for economic activity, resulting in stronger import growth, outpacing that of exports over the next few years, helping growth in most freight modes.

Economic O utlook

With the household consumption outlook looking increasingly positive, the long-awaited rebalancing of the German economy away from net exports and toward domestic demand is underway. While we believe Germany's current account surplus is currently peaking on the back of lower oil prices, the narrowing of the surplus over the next five years will be limited by tight fiscal policy. Germany remains among the top five largest global economies, but is set to slip over the long term. Two unexpected events in H215 - the Volkswagen emissions scandal and the surging inflows of foreign migrants to Germany - are likely to be neutral-to-positive for near-term growth, but the long-term effects are more difficult to predict. If anything, both bolster our core outlook for rebalancing in Germany's economy toward domestic demand. Our German growth forecasts for 2015 and 2016 remain above-consensus at 1.8% and 1.9%, respectively (versus consensus estimates of 1.7% and 1.8%).

Trade O utlook

Total trade growth will be slower in 2016 than what has been estimated for 2015, as we see the start of a slowdown over the medium term. We see especially export growth slowing due to the Volkswagen emission scandal taking its toll, emerging market demand remains weak, and the boost provided by depreciation of the euro is fading. Imports are outpacing exports in 2016 and will do so over our forecast period until 2020. Exports are also being negatively affected by the slow down in growth within their main trade partner, France, in addition to the wider eurozone area, affecting all freight modes. However, as increased domestic consumption is replacing exports as a key driver of economic activity, imports will continue its stronger growth.

Road freight is forecast to continue to dominate the sector in 2016 and will continue its robust growth over the medium term owing largely to the increase in consumer demand on the back of lower oil prices and a strong labour market. Rail freight is the second largest freight mode, but will have a decreased growth rate as the slowdown in Germany's trade partners is affecting exports mainly carried by rail. Air as the smallest freight mode in Germany will have the strongest growth over the medium term, owing largely to investment and recent infrastructure developments in the sector.

Headline Industry Data

  • 2015 air freight tonnage is estimated to grow by 1.5%, and forecast to grow by 1.8% in 2016

  • 2015 rail freight is estimated to grow by 3.6% , and forecast to grow by 3.3% in 2016

  • 2015 road freight is estimated to grow by 2.2%, and forecast to grow by 2.5% in 2016

  • 2015 inland waterway freight is estimated to grow by 1.9% and forecast to grow by 2.0% in 2016

  • 2015 total real trade growth is estimated at 5.6%, and forecast at 4.8% in 2016

Key Industry Developments

  • Volkswagen Fallout To Be Limited : Following on from revelations that German auto giant Volkswagen used software to manipulate emissions tests on certain diesel models in the US, the fallout has spread. The 480,000 cars earmarked for recall in the US has grown into an estimated 11mn vehicles affected worldwide, and some estimates put the cost for Volkswagen as high as EUR35bn. It is too early to tell what the effects of this will be on the German economy, but the autos industry's importance to the country is difficult to overstate. The sector represents 20% of German industrial revenues, makes up 18% of exports, and is by any measure a flagship for Germany's global reputation.

  • Lufthansa Union T hreatens Week-Long Strike : Flight attendants of German airline Lufthansa have threatened to go on a week-long strike starting November 6, if the management of the company fails to address demands related to current retirement plans by November 5, reports Wall Street Journal. Negotiations between the union and the management have stalled, after the former rejected the airline's latest offer.

BMI Industry View
Germany - 2015
Freight Transport
Business Environment
Industry Forecast
Germany - 2015
Table: Air Freight
Table: Maritime Freight
Table: Rail Freight
Table: Road Freight
Table: Inland Waterway Freight
Table: Trade Overview
Table: Key Trade Indicators
Market Overview
Germany - 2015
Industry Trends And Developments
Germany - 2015
Company Profile
Lufthansa Cargo - 2015
DB Schenker Rail - 2015
Hamburg S-d - 2015
Political Outlook
Foreign Policy
Table: Germany: Political Overview
Long-Term political Outlook
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Table: GDP Contribution To Growth (Germany 2011-2019)
Demographic Forecast
Table: Germany's Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 ('000)
Table: Germany's Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 (% of total)
Table: Germany's Key Population Ratios, 1990-2020
Table: Germany's Rural And Urban Population, 1990-2020
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

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

Key Benefits

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