Integrated Interim Report 2019 – Germany needs a strong rail system


Freight transport and logistics

Anticipated market development 


(Mar forecast)

(Jul forecast)

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)




The data for 2018, adjusted for price and calendar effects, is based on the information and estimates available as of July 2019.
Expectations for 2019 are rounded off to the nearest half percentage point.

The outlook for the entire German freight transport market has deteriorated somewhat since the previous forecasts were published:

  • Particularly due to the expected weak performance of the industries important for rail freight transport, namely the steel, chemical/mineral oil and automotive industries, expectations are that the previous year’s volume will only be slightly exceeded. The growth in combined transport should not suffice to provide stronger support for overall performance development. The respective impact from the train-path price support should have a positive effect, but, due to the economic slowdown and resulting intensifying competition, its effect is weaker than expected over the short term.
  • Truck transport will continue to benefit from positive impulses in retail, consumption and construction. The 2019 performance increase, however, should be smaller than in the previous year due to generally weakening economic growth effects.
  • Assuming a stable situation on the main waterways, the weaker economic growth impulses will be more than compensated in inland waterway transport by the expected strong positive basic effect as a result of the weaker months in the previous year. In the second half of 2018, performance dropped dramatically by more than 30% due to the low water levels, as a result of which a strong increase is to be expected over the next few months, which will make a noticeable contribution to growth for the entire freight transport market in 2019.

Falling volumes are now expected for the global air freight market.

Global ocean freight will experience lower growth than previously assumed, which is caused by the tremendous uncertainty regarding the trade negotiations between the USA and China and also by the economic risks due to a potential decline in growth in the USA, China and Europe.

Stronger growth than in the previous year is now ex­­pected for contract logistics in 2019.

Based on current 2019 forecasts, growth in the European land transport market will be weaker than in the previous year, the price pressure will continue to grow due to increasing capacities and revenue growth will slow down slightly as a result. Growth is still driven by the increas­­ing transport activities in Eastern Europe.