Following a year in which BMI believes saw the recovery resume, 2014 will signal further growth and some of the freight modes return to their pre-downturn levels.
Total trade is projected to pick up with our Country Risk desk forecasting a y-o-y increase of 1.35% in 2014 following an estimated growth of 0.3% in 2013.
Road freight is to continue to dominate the sector and is projected to grow by 2% in 2014. The sector did not manage 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, completing a full recovery to its pre-downturn levels in 2014.
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 Air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 3.0%
- 2014 Rail freight is forecast to grow by 1.5%
- 2014 Port of Hamburg tonnage throughput is forecast to grow by 3.7%
- 2012 Port of Hamburg container throughput is forecast to grow by 2.4%
- 2014 Road freight is forecast to grow by 2.3%
- 2014 Inland waterway freight is forecast to grow by 1.7%
- 2014 Total real trade growth is forecast at 1.4%.
Key Industry Trends
Tough Conditions Force Hamburg Box Expansion Postponement- The tough operating environment facing Northern European ports, with the drop in container volumes - a reaction to the downturn in the eurozone -has led the German port of Hamburg to postpone one of its box expansion plans. Hamburg has announced that it will postpone the development of Westerweiterung (a westward expansion project of the port's Eurogate terminal). The EUR250mn project, which will develop two berths for ultra large container ships and a feeder berth, lifting Eurogate's installed capacity at the port from 4mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 6mn TEUs has been postponed by a year, with its completion date pushed back to 2019.
Lufthansa Cargo's Takes Positive Step with New Lima Route- Lufthansa Cargo's latest addition to its global route - Lima, Peru - is a positive step for the company amid a tough operating environment. Latin America has reported the second-highest growth figures in the 2013 year-to-date (y-t-d), according to IATA data, after front-runner the Middle East. Lufthansa Cargo faces stiff competition in the Middle East in the form of Etihad and Emirates, making Peru a smart tactical addition to the company's international coverage.
DB Schenker Rail Launches Bosporus Shuttle- DB Schenker Rail expanded its services with the launch of a new service with three pairs of trains operating each week between Germany and Turkey. The new service, known as the Bosporus Shuttle, is being offered from September 2013. The new service has been designed to strengthen the existing offer between Western Europe and destinations in Turkey.
Hamburg Receives First Freight Train from Zhengzhou- DB Schenker announced that on behalf of the city of Zhengzhou it has 'cooperated in the first freight train ride' from the north-central Chinese city to Hamburg. The voyage was organised by the Zhengzhou International Land Port Development and Construction Co., Ltd., with the train carrying 51 containers arrived to the freight yard in Hamburg-Billwerder. DB Schenker played a role of the logistics partner to Zhengzhou for all services outside China. Lock Keepers Call off Strike Plans- Germany's lock keepers cancelled their planned strikes for the time being. Over a number of weeks in the summer and autumn 2013, the lock keepers employed by Germany's Waterways and Shipping Administration went on a series of strike in the majority of the German states, affecting the inland waterway transport. The strikes were cancelled after the ministries involved in the dispute came up with a joint statement which excludes forced layoffs, involuntary transfers and financial disadvantages for the employees.
VTG and Kuehne + Nagel Establish JV- German rail wagon hire and logistics specialist VTG and Kuehne + Nagel, one of the world's largest logistics companies, announced the signing of agreement to merge 'certain rail logistics operations'. Subject to antitrust authorities' approval of the, the new company, commence operations on January 1 2014 under the name VTG Rail Logistics.
Contargo Acquires APMT's Neuss Intermodal Terminal- The service provider of intermodal hinterland transports Contargo GmbH & Co. KG has signed an agreement with APM Terminals (APMT) for the purchase of APM Terminals' Neuss Intermodal Terminal GmbH (NIT). By acquiring NIT, Contargo expands its network at a central logistics site in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Risks to Outlook
BMI highlights freight modes exposed to the transport of containers as the forecast areas which have risks both to the down- and to the upside, as 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, and, 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.