Serbia 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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Serbia Freight Transport Report
Product Price

BMI View: BMI believes the outlook for Serbia's freight sector is relatively rosy over both 2016 and our medium-term forecast period to 2019. Average annual growth rates to 2019 for road and air freight will surpass 2016 figures, whereas for rail it will remain around the same. While not bullish in our forecasts, we see improving export growth, huge investments in rail infrastructure - the country's dominant freight mode - and macroeconomic growth that will boost Serbian consumers as providing a stable foundation for growth that will pay dividends to 2019 and beyond.

Trade growth in 2016 will continue to rise and improve upon 2015 growth rates, although we note that 2016 will represent a peak in the medium term and growth will dip from 9.0% growth this coming year to an annual average of 6%. Increased export growth will be a key driver of growth in the short-term, while backbone growth in the economy in real GDP (1.0% in 2016 but rising to 4.3% in 2019), GDP per capita in local currency terms (rising by an average of 7.4% between 2016 and 2019) and real private final consumption growth (rising to 3.5% in 2018 and 2019) will boost stability over the medium term and help to expand all freight sector modes.

This background economic growth will help empower the finances of Serbia's consumer base, which we believe will help drive road freight volumes by 5.4% to 2019. While there are few major plans to upgrade or expand the country's road network over the medium term, the successful re-building of many roads damaged in 2014's floods (using EU funding) shows the government is willing to prioritise the sector in times of crisis, and more preventative measures have been put in place.

Growth in the rail sector will be the highest-performing in the medium term out of all Serbia's freight modes, averaging annual growth of 7%. This will be driven by higher export growth in commodities and raw materials the country specialises in over the short term, although massive infrastructure investments that focus heavily on improving connections to Serbia's neighbours will mean there is the possibility of expanding rail freight comfortably over the medium and longer terms.

After a fall to negative growth in 2015 the air freight sector will return to a healthy, positive level in 2015 and growth will remain at over 6% on average over our forecast period. Although BMI has little expectation that the air freight sector will significantly expand over the next few years, the rebranding and 2014 success (its first full year of operation) of Air Serbia could drive up passenger numbers, when coupled with higher disposable incomes that will gain pace after 2017. However, with little trade in the goods that require air freight, especially not from the export side, our forecasts are bearish that Serbia's air freight will significantly benefit.

Key Industry Trends

  • For the first time since 1992 Air Serbia will begin a nonstop service between New York and the Serbian capital Belgrade. If approved, the service will fly from Belgrade five times a week to New York's JFK airport from June 2016. The company has indicated it would lease Airbus A330-200 widebody jets to fly the long-haul transatlantic route.

  • Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services (SMATSA), a joint air traffic control agency between the two countries, anticipates earning more than EUR68mn from overflight fees during 2015 due to the relocation of flights over Ukraine. To avoid Ukrainian airspace, some flight companies have re-routed to flight paths over Serbia and Montenegro. The relocated flights are estimated to increase the number of flight using the airspace over the countries by 8%, according to the Montenegrin government.

  • An agreement signed in September between Russian state-owned rail operator RZD International and JSC Infrastructure will see the upgrading and rebuilding of three southern sections of the Pan-European Transport Corridor 10 within Serbia. Work on

Headline Industry Data

  • Road freight will grow by 4.3% in 2016 to reach 7.53mn tonnes. Growth to average 5.4% between 2016 and 2019.

  • Rail freight will grow by 7.2% in 2016 to reach 12.62mn tonnes. Growth to average 7.0% between 2016 and 2019.

  • Air freight to grow by 5.8% in 2016 to reach 2,000 tonnes. Growth to average 6.25% between 2016 and 2019.

  • Real trade growth to grow by 9.0% in 2016. Growth to average 7.5% between 2016 and 2019.

BMI Industry View
Freight Transport
Operational Risk
Industry Forecast
Trade Forecast
Table: Trade Overview (Serbia 2012-2019)
Table: Key Trade Indicators (Serbia 2012-2019)
Road Freight Forecast
Table: Road Freight (Serbia 2012-2019)
Rail Freight Forecast
Table: Rail Freight (Serbia 2012-2019)
Air Freight Forecast
Table: Air Freight (Serbia 2012-2019)
Market Overview
Company Profile
Air Serbia
-eleznice Srbije (Serbian Railways)
Political Outlook
Domestic Politics
Long-Term Political outlook
Oil Price Outlook
Europe - Brent On Board For A Bumpy Ride
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Serbia 2005-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Serbia 2005-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Serbia 2005-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

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

Key Benefits

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