United Arab Emirates Freight Transport Report

Published 21 May 2015

  • 62 pages
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  • Includes 3 free updated quarterly reports
United Arab Emirates Freight Transport Report

BMI View: Our view on the UAE's freight transport sector is overwhelmingly positive. The country dominates the freight transport sector in the region and continued expansion of its ports and airports, now matched by investment into the developing rail network, will ensure this remains the case. Growth will be driven not only by domestic demand, and we remain bullish on the emirates' growth outlook, despite the dramatic fall in the oil price in late 2014, but also by an improving global economy, given the UAE's role as a major transhipment hub.

Despite the dramatic fall in the global oil price through the closing months of 2014, our real GDP growth outlook for the UAE is robust, and we expect the emirates will continue to record impressive rates of growth over coming years. We forecast real GDP growth of 4.0% in 2015 and 3.8% in 2016, broadly in line with the previous three years. Trade across the country will benefit from the resilient growth outlook, and we forecast a 6.4% real expansion in total trade in 2015, followed by 5.1% in 2016. Although this is slower than the growth of 7.3% recorded in 2014, it is robust given the fall in the oil price, and is predicated on our assumption that production will be maintained.

For the next few years, until the country's new rail network, currently under development, is complete, road haulage will remain absolutely vital to the UAE's economy, and even after the rail network's completion we do not see it losing importance. Indeed, our growth forecasts for road freight volumes project a steady rate of around 3.0-4.0% over our medium-term forecast period to 2019. That said, as the rail network begins to come online (the first phase is undergoing trials in April 2015, and the second phase is being put out to tender) growth in road freight volumes will slow slightly. We forecast an expansion of 3.7% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016, and dropping to 3.4% in 2018 and 3.0% in 2019.

We forecast robust growth in total tonnage handling at...

BMI Industry View
Freight Transport
Operational Risk
Industry Forecast
Trade Forecast
Table: Trade Overview (United Arab Emirates 2012-2019)
Table: Key Trade Indicators (United Arab Emirates 2012-2019)
Table: The UAE's Top Import Partners, 2006-2013 (USDmn)
Table: The UAE's Top Export Partners, 2006-2013 (USDmn)
Road Freight Forecast
Table: Road Freight (United Arab Emirates 2012-2019)
Air Freight Forecast
Table: Air Freight (United Arab Emirates 2012-2019)
Company Profile
Etihad Cargo
Emirates SkyCargo
Political Outlook
Political Outlook I
Yemen: Drawn Into The Conflict
Libya: Further Entanglement Ahead
Egypt: Moving Away From Financial Support
Iraq: Slowly Disengaging
Iran: Strained, But Signs Of Improvement
Foreign Policy Based On Domestic Priorities
Table: UAE - Political Overview
Long-Term Political Outlook
Oil Price Outlook
Global - Crude Oil, Refined Fuels And Natural Gas Prices, 10-year Forecasts
Table: Energy Price Forecasts, 2013-2018
Table: Energy Price Forecasts, 2019-2024 ( Global 2019-2024)
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Private Spending Growth To Remain High
Concerns Over Emiratisation Policies Resurface
Table: Economic Activity (United Arab Emirates 2010-2019)
Table: GDP By Expenditure (United Arab Emirates 2012-2019)
Demographic Forecast
Demographic Outlook
Table: Population Headline Indicators (United Arab Emirates 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (United Arab Emirates 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (United Arab Emirates 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (United Arab Emirates 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (United Arab Emirates 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

The United Arab Emirates 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.

Business Monitor International (BMI)'s United Arab Emirates Freight Transport Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Emirati freight transport and logistics industry.

Key Benefits

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

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