sector report ABN AMRO

NL: Transport sector has favorable tide

The transport sector benefits from the revival of the world economy. Both globally and the euro zone, including the Netherlands. The starting points for the transport sector are therefore positive. This translates into high confidence in the future among transport operators. However, clear differences can be seen between the transport branches.

image taken from the ABN AMRO report

Turnover growth in all branches in the first half of 2017
In the second quarter of 2017, the turnover of road haulage companies rose the fastest, with 6.1% y-o-y. Inland shipping (+ 5% y-o-y) and logistics service providers (+ 5.4% y-o-y) also showed strong growth in turnover. The turnover of entrepreneurs in sea and coastal shipping (+ 3.3% y-o-y) and storage companies (+ 1.2% y-o-y) rose less rapidly. The balance for the first half of 2017 is positive. In the first half of 2017, road haulage also showed the highest turnover growth of 6.9% y-o-y. The turnover of inland shipping companies increased by 5.6% y-o-y and of logistics service providers by 5% y-o-y. The turnover of entrepreneurs in sea and coastal shipping increased by 4.6% y-o-y and from storage companies by 1.4% y-o-y.

Cargo flights Schiphol increase less rapid
World trade is clearly picking up, but Schiphol is still outpacing that growth. In the first ten months of 2017, the volume transported via Schiphol increased by 7.3% y-o-y. World trade rose by 4.4% y-o-y in the first eight months of 2017. However, the volume transported through Schiphol dropped considerably in October. In particular transportation to and from Europe, North America and the Middle East fell back. Transport to and from Africa recovered, but for Schiphol this is a minor destination.

The number of flight movements of cargo flights increased by 2.4% y-o-y in the first ten months of 2017. In 2016 the number of flight movements did increase by 6.2%. One of the causes is that more and more cargo is being transported with passenger flights. That trend will also continue in the coming year, because the capacity for cargo flights at Schiphol has been reduced. This is due to the fact that Schiphol will probably reach the maximum of 500,000 flight movements per year in 2017.

Also in inland navigation, containers remain the outlier 
In the first three quarters of 2017, both less dry bulk and liquid bulk were transported. A clear improvement was evident in the transport of liquid bulk in the third quarter of 2017. Then the transported volume increased by 2.7% year to year. Just as in Rotterdam Port, container transport is doing well. The number of containers transported by inland shipping in the first three quarters of 2017 increased by 5.3%. This may benefit dry bulk carriers because containers are transported in the same type of ships. Now that transport of dry bulk continues to disappoint, this poses a good alternative for dry bulk carriers. Dry bulk is also increasingly being transported in containers, which means that container transport in the future can increase further at the expense of transport of dry bulk.

The labor shortage is rising, but increase in the number of jobs is lagging behind
The labor shortage in the transport sector is still increasing. In the third quarter of 2017, 16% of transport operators indicated having a shortage of employees. This percentage has never been this high. There are big differences between the transport branches. Goods transport and inland shipping have the biggest problems. 29.1% of road haulage companies indicate that they have a shortage of employees. This is because of the rapid growth of the Dutch economy. Inland shipping entrepreneurs are also increasingly indicating that they have difficulty in finding good staff. Meanwhile, 20.5% of the inland shipping companies say this is a problem. In addition to economic growth, inland shipping also feels the effect of aging.

The number of jobs in the transport sector in May 2017 was stable at 370,000 jobs. However, there is an increase of 1.9% compared to a year earlier. Given the labor shortage, this is striking. There are also more and more vacancies. In the second quarter of 2017, there were 8,400 vacancies. A year earlier, the number was 6,600, amounting to an increase of 27.3%.

The entire report can be viewed here (in Dutch).

Source: ABN AMRO

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