Saudi Arabia Freight Transport Report

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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Saudi Arabia Freight Transport Report
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BMI View: The outlook for the Saudi Arabian freight transport sector is somewhat mixed in the near term, as the impact of the oil price collapse in 2014 makes itself felt in the economy. Road haulage volumes, which cater primarily for the domestic market, will see the slowest growth rate. The air freight sector will be supported by transhipment volumes and low statistical base effects, while rail freight volumes will continue to enjoy strong growth on the back of concerted investment into the network.

Saudi Arabia's trade is overwhelmingly driven by its oil exports. With the global price of Brent crude having fallen dramatically through the close of 2014, the country's nominal trade value has dropped off. Nevertheless, in real terms we expect continued growth, and the rising wealth of the country's population, and steady - if slow - diversification of the economy will see trade continue to expand over the course of our forecast period.

Growth in road haulage volumes will slow in 2016, as the Saudi Arabian consumer struggles in the face of a macroeconomic slowdown caused by the oil price collapse in 2014. Investment into the road network will lend some support, as will mining volumes, but containerised transport of consumer goods will see only a weak expansion.

According to our forecasts, Saudi Arabia's rail freight sector will see a rapid escalation in volumes in both the near- and medium-terms as large-scale investment into the sector sees new projects come online. A more muted outlook for the economy in light of the 2014 oil price collapse offers some downside risk to our projections, however.

We forecast growth of 5.3% in Saudi Arabian air freight volumes in 2016, which if realised would result in 1.10mn tonnes of air freight transported in the kingdom over the course of the year, and a pick-up from the 2.1% growth we estimate for 2015. Our forecast will see volumes recouped from when Saudi Arabia's air freight volumes underwent a decline of 3.7% in 2014 - in 2013, 1.06mn tonnes were handled.

Key BMI Forecasts

  • We forecast total road freight volumes will rise by 2.2% in 2016 to reach 131.11mn tonnes. Growth will be 2.1% in 2017.

  • We forecast total rail freight volumes will rise by 10.0% in 2016 to reach 5.49mn tonnes. In 2017, growth will be 10.8%.

  • We forecast total air freight volumes will rise by 5.3% in 2016 to reach 1.10mn tonnes. Growth will be 4.9% in 2017.

  • We forecast total trade value to return to growth in nominal terms in 2016, rising 3.7% to USD541.37bn.

  • The top trade partners will be China, the US, Japan, South Korea, India and Germany.

BMI Industry View
Freight Transport
Operational Risk
Industry Forecast
Trade Forecast
Table: Trade Overview (Saudi Arabia 2012-2019)
Table: Key Trade Indicators (Saudi Arabia 2012-2019)
Table: Main Import Partners
Table: Main Export Partners
Road Freight Forecast
Table: Road Freight (Saudi Arabia 2012-2019)
Rail Freight Forecast
Table: Rail Freight (Saudi Arabia 2012-2019)
Air Freight Forecast
Table: Air Freight (Saudi Arabia 2012-2019)
Market Overview
Company Profile
Saudi Airlines Cargo (Saudia)
Political Outlook
Foreign Policy
Table: Saudi Arabia - Russia: Main Agreements
Long-Term Political Outlook
Table: Saudi Arabia - Political Overview
Oil Price Outlook
Global - Crude Oil, Refined Fuels And Natural Gas Prices, 10-Year Forecasts
Table: Energy Price Forecasts (Global 2013-2018)
Table: Energy Price Forecasts (Global 2019-2024)
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Demographic Forecast
Demographic Outlook
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

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

Key Benefits

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