Whether for goods or people, or whether it be road, air or maritime transport, every year the transport sector continues to expand in Europe. Faced with the sector’s liberalisation and globalisation, European countries are pulling out all the stops to remain competitive and to establish common competition rules. Here we look at the current state of this rapidly evolving sector.
Road freight transport: an international growth rate of 6.2% in 2013. According to a French report by the General Commission on Sustainable Development, European road freight transport marked an increase of 2.4% in 2013, with international activity outperforming national activity (at +6.2% and +0.4% respectively). Eastern European countries are the most dynamic internationally (+9.7%) to the detriment of their Western European counterparts (see our article entitled Western European haulers in free fall). Germany is the most buoyant country, accounting for 16.8% of European road freight transport. It is followed by Poland (14.0%), Spain (10.9%) and France (9.7%).
See our interactive map of searches performed for road transport and associated services.
Air transport: 4 principles for remaining competitive. In June, Europe’s airlines operating as part of the Association of European Airlines (AEA) presented a report to the European Commission with a view to remaining competitive. According to the AEA, 4 principles must be observed:
- Adopting a global approach: air transport must be tackled from a global perspective, and must not be limited merely to the air travel sector;
- Regulating intelligently: regulations should intervene only when necessary;
- Reducing outgoings, notably by encouraging European States to axe local or national aviation taxes;
- Establishing fair rules so that each and everyone has the same chances of success.
Maritime transport: coastal shipping plays a very important role in Europe. As observed by the bulletin of the Observatory on Transport Policies and Strategies in Europe, coastal shipping plays a key role in the transport of goods in Europe. With 38% t.km (tonne-kilometres), maritime transport accounts for almost as big a share of European internal trade as the leading mode, namely road transport! Here too, the stakes are high for staying competitive. The system’s various players will have to respond by integrating and consolidating their networks, without overlooking restructuring and concentration operations.