TIMOCOM transport barometer: Germany weakens, Italy is the exception


Italian logistics companies enjoyed significant growth last year: “In Italy, we recorded an increase in freight of 16 percent as compared with 2018,” says TIMOCOM Business Analyst Tilman Fecke.

These increases buck the European trend. Unfortunately, the recently completed yearly review of TIMOCOM's transport barometer is not nearly so positive for the rest of Europe. In 2019, all across Europe, freight offers dropped by 8.3 percent as compared to the previous year. 2018 ended with 5 percent more freight as compared to 2017.

The positive Italian results, according to TIMOCOM's expert Fecke, can be traced back to the increased demand for consumer goods. “We believe it is realistic to consider trade factors the driving force behind the export of Italian products. Such factors include, for example, Brexit and the import duties imposed by the USA on Chinese products,” Tilman Fecke explains. The approach of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU caused a strong and noticeable effect on the European transport industry, a sign that Fecke’s theory is correct. All 44 European countries included in the transport barometer reports increased their freight offers to the UK by 15 percent between the financial quarters 3 and 4.

The number of exports from Germany to the United Kingdom also grew in the fourth quarter of 2019 by approximately 11 percent as compared to the third quarter. Business Analyst Fecke comments: “The decision to move Brexit back three months to the end of January 2020 is another indicator that this increase is connected to political developments.” 

However, this short-term development did nothing to improve the overall trend: the amount of freight transported from Germany into other European countries over the last year sank by 12 percent as compared to 2018. “Germany is one of the world’s major export nations and is therefore more sensitive to the effects of a cooling economy. The drastic reduction here as compared to the total European numbers reflects that,” TIMOCOM Company Spokesman Gunnar Gburek said of the development. And: “Whether or not the negative trend will continue this year remains to be seen – but it seems probable,” he concluded.

The IT company has been using the transport barometer since 2009 to analyse the development of transport offers and demand as found in the freight and vehicle space smart apps, which are integrated into the Smart Logistics System. More than 130,000 users generate up to 750,000 international freight and vehicle space offers daily on the exchange. The system helps over 43,000 TIMOCOM customers to meet their logistics goals smartly, safely and simply.

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