Freight transport and logistics

Anticipated market development / %


2023 (Mar


2023 (Jul


German freight transport (based on tkm)




European rail freight transport (based on tkm)




European land transport (based on revenues)




Global air freight (based on t)




Global ocean freight (based on TEU)




Global contract logistics (based on revenues)




Following a stagnation in freight transport performance in the previous year, a slight decline in the overall market is expected in Germany in 2023 due to high inflation, low stimulus from core industries and high purchasing prices. In the second half of 2023, the decline in demand should lessen slightly. The market is expected to continue to be characterized by sustained competitive pressure. Due to economic development in the first half of 2023 being significantly weaker than expected, almost all transport market forecasts for 2023 as a whole have been adjusted.

  • Rail freight transport in 2023 is expected to be slightly below the previous year. It is unlikely that declines in energy-intensive industries and declines in combined transport can be offset by heavy-coal and mineral-oil transports or the catch-up effects of automotive transport. The demand for green transport continues to be high, meaning that, as the economy picks up, moderate growth is expected in the years to come.
  • Road freight traffic is expected to decline even more significantly in 2023 than in the previous year. The weak construction economy, due to the sharp rise in interest rates, and moderate consumer sentiment are likely to cause declining transport volumes and spare capacity on the market in the second half of 2023. The acute shortage of drivers is likely to continue.
  • Despite the significant drop in volume sold in inland waterway transport in the previous year, no catch-up effects are expected for 2023. Inland waterway transport is also not expected to benefit from the positive development of coal transport and growth is not expected despite the low level of the previous year. Weather dependency remains a risk.
  • Assuming that the European economy will recover in the second half of 2023, the European rail freight transport market should stabilize. However, a decline in volume sold is expected for 2023 on the whole.
  • The development of demand in the European land transport market is expected to develop in 2023 only slightly above the previous year’s level. Inflation is likely to remain high and inhibit demand. The weak production in Europe is expected to persist for several months and a slight recovery will not be felt until the second half of 2023.
  • The currently weak development in air and ocean freight gives little hope of a rapid recovery against the backdrop of rising capacities, and greater volumes in both segments are expected only in the second half of 2023; however, air freight will be unable to compensate for the drop in demand from the first half of 2023. Higher rates in global air freight transport could develop at the start of the peak season in the third quarter.
  • Due to the slowing economy, the contract logistics market is expected to continue its growth at a significantly lower level in 2023. Declining volume effects in some regions will be able to be offset by higher prices in others.
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