Market trends and structure of the road haulage sector in the EU in 2010
The Land Transport unit of the Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility has drafted a report with the aim to provide a concise overview of the latest developments in road freight transport activities in the EU. For the most part, it is based on data from Eurostat collected under Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/98 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road.
Road freight transport is an essential economic activity. Without it, our economies would not function. The road freight sector in the EU has developed very dynamically. It is useful for policy makers, stakeholders and other interested parties to have up-to-date information on the structure of the industry and on major trends. Road passenger transport is another important segment of road transport which is, however, not subject of this vademecum.
The report is based on data up to the end of 2010. As Greece and the United Kingdom had not yet reported 2010 data to Eurostat by the time this report has been drafted, 2009 data from these countries have been used instead. As Malta did not report any road freight data, it could not be covered in the analysis. Eurostat road freight data are a compilation of data collected by the Member States. Each Member State reports the activities of its national fleet. The data are collected in samples which are taken on the basis of the national vehicle register. When reading this report, it should be borne in mind that whenever the report mentions hauliers of a specific Member State, what it means in effect is vehicles registered in that Member State.
As it has become common in recent years for hauliers from some Member States to "outflag" and use vehicles registered in another Member State, including drivers and personnel employed under the conditions of that other Member State, the activities of the national fleet and the activities of national hauliers are not necessarily the same any longer. For ease of reading, the term "haulier" has nevertheless been kept.
- The road freight transport sector in the EU has not yet fully recovered from the drop in activity in the wake of the economic crisis in 2008/09. In terms of tonne-km, the activity level in 2010 was still 9% below pre-crisis levels of 2007.
- There are considerable differences in the activity levels of individual Member States. Hauliers from many of the Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 could considerably increase their market share during the crisis.
- Road freight transport accounts for 73% of all inland freight transport activities in the EU. After having slightly risen in 2009, the modal share of road is now back to where it was before the crisis. The other inland modes rail and inland waterways recovered somewhat more strongly than road, albeit from a deeper hole.
- The lifting of special cabotage restrictions on 1 May 2009 which applied for a transition period of up to five years to hauliers from most of the countries that joined the EU in 2004 shows remarkable effects: cabotage activities of hauliers from these countries almost tripled between 2008 and 2010.