Erkrath, Germany, 2017-04-20 – The European transport market got off to a strong start as compared to last year, as proven by the current numbers in the TimoCom transport barometer. The barometer shows that the ratio of freight to vehicle space was 43:57 in the first quarter of the year. Even the classic freight decline in February could not make a dent in the overall upswing during the first three months.
The European transport industry had a much more active start compared to the low numbers from the beginning of 2016 (30:70). But the freight numbers had recovered by the end of the year, and the positive effect carried on through the first three months of 2017.
The transport market stood firm through February
In January, the freight volume was 44%, only 7 percentage points below December, traditionally a busy month due to Christmas freight. Gunnar Gburek, TimoCom Company Spokesman, explains why the year began so well for the European transport industry: “The extremely low water in the rivers was a boon to road transport. Not only that, mild weather meant that drivers did not have to deal with typical winter limitations when transporting goods.”
The experiences of the last few years were once again confirmed, as the freight volume dropped in February. In the middle of the quarter, the percentage of freight on offer was at 39, in comparison to 61 percent available vehicle space. The missing days in the shortest month, however, did not have as serious an effect as they did in 2016 (21%), and in February, too, the mild winter was a boon to transport activities.
The first rays of sunshine reinvigorated the European transport market, and there were more requests for transport starting in March. The beginning of spring and the lovely weather were an enticing reason to get outside, which had a positive effect on the amount of freight to be transported. The transport barometer went up 8 percentage points to a freight volume of 47%, making March on average the strongest month in the quarter.
Spring freight is on the way
Looking ahead towards spring, we asked what is in store for the transport industry. “I assume that the public holidays, which are in favour of employees, will have an effect on the economic data in comparison to last year. However, the Easter holidays increase consumer activity among the population, and create more freight volumes. Up to this point, we have not seen any effects from poor framework conditions in terms of economic and political uncertainty. It remains to be seen what effect these factors will have on the development of the European transport industry”, Gburek explains.
Despite these uncertainties, TimoCom assumes that, as usual, there will be an increase in freight offers on the TimoCom transport platform during April, May and June, and that once again there will be more freight than free capacity on the market.