Loss of turnover in the transport sector was nearly 13 percent last year compared to 2008. Maritime transport, air transport, forwarding agents and inland shipping suffered most. The global recession is largely accountable for the declining demand for transport capacity.
Maritime transport slumps by 21 percent
With 21 percent, deep sea and short sea shipping suffered the most severe slump. In the first quarter, the loss in this branch remained limited to 11 percent, but subsequently increased to more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter.
Turnover air transport and forwarding agents also substantially down
Air transport also performed poorly with a 20 percent loss of turnover, although the latter half of 2009 was better than the first half. Forwarding agents, accounting for one fifth of total turnover in the transport sector faced 19 percent loss of turnover relative to one year previously.
Turnover various transport sector branches, 2009
Inland shipping improved marginally in fourth quarter
Inland shipping lost nearly 18 percent of its turnover compared to 2008, but the downturn by 14 percent in the fourth quarter was less severe than in the first three quarters. Due to low water levels in the fourth quarter, more ships were needed to carry the same volume of cargo. As a result, freight rates went up.
Downturn road transport less substantial in fourth quarter
In goods transport, the largest branch within the transport sector, the downturn in the fourth quarter of 2009 was less substantial than in the preceding three quarters. Road transport accounts for nearly 30 percent of total turnover in the transport sector.
Distribution of turnover in the transport sector, 2009
André Weber and Marcel van der Geest