Following a year in which we saw increasing volumes across the whole of Germany's freight transport sector, BMI believes 2015 will see further growth.
Total trade is projected to pick up with our Country Risk team forecasting a y-o-y increase of 1.35% in 2015, following an estimated growth at the same rate in 2014.
Road freight is set to continue to dominate the sector and is projected to grow by 2% in 2015. The sector was unable to defy the downturn losing more than 11% of freight volumes over 2009 and 2010 before a strong recovery begun in 2011.
Port of Hamburg tonnage is also expected to grow, having completed, according to our estimates, a full recovery to its pre-downturn levels in 2014.
Headline Industry Data
2015 Air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 1.5%
2015 Rail freight is forecast to grow by 1.2%
2015 Port of Hamburg throughput is forecast to grow by 4%
2012 Port of Hamburg container throughput is forecast to grow by 4.9%
2015 Road freight is forecast to grow by 2.2%
2015 Inland waterway freight is forecast to grow by 1.9%
2015 Total real trade growth is forecast at 1.4%.
Key Industry Trends
DB Schenker's Europe-China Rail Service Benefits Europe's Manufacturers: The new weekly rail freighter service between Hamburg and Zhengzhou is a major benefit for European supply chains as it opens up new modal options on the Europe to China route and reduces transit times compared to shipping goods by sea. This route particularly benefits the European manufacturing and transport sectors, which together account for the largest portion of goods traded with China.
US A nd EU Approve Hapag-Lloyd-CSAV Merger: Hapag-Lloyd welcomed in September 2014, the European Union's approval for its planned integration of the container shipping activities of CSAV into Hapag-Lloyd. In August both companies received approval from the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission for a merger. Approvals in 'a few other jurisdictions' are still pending.
Elbe Dredging Decision Delayed: The federal administrative court of Germany postponed the decision on the dredging of the river Elbe's navigational channel. It is not the first time the court has made such a ruling and is now waiting for the European court of justice's verdict, which is not expected until spring 2015.
Fraport Cargo Services Adds New Temperature-Sensitive Shipments Storage Facility: Fraport Cargo Services GmbH, a subsidiary of Frankfurt Airport's operator Fraport AG, has opened a new special storage facility for temperature-sensitive shipments.
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Attracts Air Cargo China, Opens New Terminal: Frankfurt-Hahn Airport announced the arrival of its new freight customer Air Cargo China from September 2014. Also, VG Cargo opened a new freight terminal at the airport.
Canal Strikes Prevented By Ministry Offers : New offers by Germany's federal ministries of interior and transport of stronger workforce protection in the planned downsizing reform of the country's river canal system have led the workers' union Verdi to decide against further strikes.
Duisburg's logport III Stage 1 Expansion Completed : Duisburger Hafen AG, which owns and manages the inland port of Duisburg, declared the completion of the first stage of the capacity expansion at the port's logport III container terminal, after the new railway crane was put into full operation. The capacity expansions of container terminals at logport I and logport III on the left bank of the Rhine were announced at the beginning of 2014.
Risks T o Outlook
BMI highlights the forecast areas of freight modes that are exposed to container transportation as the ones which have risks both to the down and upside. This is because it is these modes of transport which, on one side, will be affected by the decrease in box volumes if Asian and European demand for German exports deteriorate, but, on the other side, will benefit from the increase of container volumes on the back of a strengthening consumer base within Germany - which is set to drive the country's economic growth, mitigating the impact of a weaker external climate.