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Eurostat publishes key road transport statistics

New figures for freight transport show Benelux road hauliers remained the most active ‘caboteurs’ in 2004, accounting for just under half of the total cabotage performed of 14.6 billion tonne-kilometres (tkm). German hauliers were also major players, taking a 13% share of the total.

© Peter Gutierrez
© Peter Gutierrez

Cabotage is the carriage of traffic that originates and terminates within the boundaries of a given country by a transporter of another country. A recent EU report reveals some interesting statistics:

  • In 2004, one third of all cabotage transport took place in France, almost three quarters in only three countries: France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Less than 1% took place in the new Member States.
  • In 2004, cabotage performed by the 10 new Member States was only 6% of the total for all Member States. Over half of this was carried out by Polish hauliers.
  • Cabotage and cross-trade was a significant proportion of the total transport for Luxembourg, Lithuania and Slovakia where it formed over 20% of the total in 2004.
  • In 2004, the total tonnage carried by EU hauliers in international transport was 790 million tonnes but of this only just under 50 million tonnes (6%) was to or from non-EU countries.

International road transport with non-EU countries

The most important non-EU trading partner in 2004 was Switzerland, with 23.8 million tonnes – just under half of the total tonnage, followed by Norway, with 15%, and the Russian Federation (14%). Croatia and Romania accounted for 5% and 4%, respectively. Hauliers from Germany, Italy and the Nordic countries carried over half the tonnage by road between the EU and third countries in 2004. New Member States accounted for 26% of the total.

More international numbers:

  • In 2004, the total tonnage carried by EU hauliers in international transport was 790 million tonnes; of this total, just less than 50 million tonnes (6%) was to or from non-EU countries.
  • Between 1999 and 2004, there was steady year-on-year growth in road freight transport, which nearly doubled over the period.
  • Although transport with Switzerland increased, particularly in the last three years, the share of total tonnage carried declined from 66% in 1999 to 48% in 2004.
  • Transport to and from Norway remained around 15% each year.
  • Transport to and from Romania varied between 3% and 4%.
  • There was a large increase, from 5% in 1999 to 14% in 2004 in transport with the Russian Federation.
  • A smaller increase from 2% to 5% over the period was recorded for Croatia.
  • A further point of note is the increase in transport with the Ukraine from 2003 to reach over 1 million tonnes in 2004.
  • Of the 2.3 million tonnes recorded in 2004 for other non-EU territories, 1.4 million was transport with San Marino, which is not part of the European Union.

To an extent, some of these changes are due to the fact that the transport with these countries by the new Member States is not included in the figures for some of the earlier years, as the information was not available. Thus, in 2004, 26% of the tonnage transported by EU hauliers to and from these countries was carried by hauliers from the new Member States.

These data were collected within the framework of EC Council Regulation 1172/98 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road. They are based on sample surveys carried out in the reporting countries, i.e. EU Member States and Norway, and record the road goods transport undertaken by vehicles registered in these countries.