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A weak start into 2012 for the transport market

Long winter reflected in TimoCom's transport barometer

Dusseldorf, 2012-04-03. The transport industry has had the worst turn of the year since the economic crisis in 2008. This also becomes obvious in the latest figures of TimoCom's transport barometer, according to which the ratio of freight share to available capacity in the first quarter of 2012 was 20 points below last year's reference value. However, with the temperatures rising, the transport market is also slowly warming up.

Shortly after New Year's Eve it went upwards – as did the temperature. At the beginning of the year spring time came to Western Europe and with that, the tendency of the transport barometer by TimoCom – among others provider of the market-leading European freight and vehicle exchange TC Truck&Cargo® – was also much better than towards the end of 2011. Unfortunately the upward trend did not last long – neither with regard to the weather nor in the transport industry. Mid-January winter set in and controlled Europe until the end of February. This was reflected in TimoCom's transport barometer in a clear imbalance of freight and vehicle space: the 31 percent of freight offered were up against 69 percent of available vehicle capacities. The same period last year painted a completely different picture. At that time there was more freight available than vehicle space (54:46).

Onset of winter hits results badly
February continued to be like ice age in Europe. TimoCom's transport barometer seemed to be frozen like the roads and finished with a freight – vehicle ratio of 32:68 at the end of the month - practically unchanged compared to the previous month. However, these values were far lower than last year's (51:49). "Those extremely cold parts at the start of the year have hit the quarterly results of the European transport industry quite badly. Our customers from the former Yugoslav Republic for example have told us that the transport market almost came to a standstill in February. Of course, something like that does affect TimoCom's transport barometer", explains Marcel Frings, TimoCom's Chief Representative.

Noticeable upward tendency
Traditionally there is more to be transported in March – particularly towards Easter. As happened in the first quarter of 2012, though on a lower level than usual. "In March 2010 the freight share amounted to 54 percent, in 2011 it was even 59 percent. However, this year the signs of the first two months were so weak that we only reached a freight - vehicle ratio of 42:58", summarises Frings the situation in the transport market.

After TimoCom's transport barometer showed a result of 35:65 for the first quarter of 2012 (2010: 44:56; 2011: 55:45), the exciting question of how the transport market will develop in the upcoming quarter is still open. The extent of the euro crisis will be a key factor in this. Will there be further collapses, for example in countries like Spain? And what impact will that have on the transport industry? In the last days of March, TimoCom's transport barometer showed at least a fresh breeze which might indicate a productive spring time.

Further information on TimoCom and the transport barometer at www.timocom.com

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