Dusseldorf, 2013-04-17. Circulation of freight is slowly increasing. Easter business along with rising temperatures seem to have stimulated the European transport market towards the end of the 1st quarter. After a modest start to the year with declining freight share in the first two months TimoCom's transport barometer clearly points towards freight in March.
The positive economic trend in the final quarter of 2012 did not at first hold. Looking back at December's freight - vehicle ratio (48:52), with 36 percent freight share - a full 12 percentage points lower than in the previous month - the new year started off subdued. This also reflected the rather frosty atmosphere of the cold winter, since road transport business had not quite woken up yet. With 31 percent, 5 percentage points less compared with 2013, the previous year even undercut this low freight share.
However, freight share sank even more to a record low this February. In many European countries the whole month saw the continuous snow chaos. Whereas the freight - vehicle ratio was 32 to 68 last year, the winter month only recorded 29 percent freight share this year which was 3 percentage point below last year's reference value. There was still more vehicle capacity on the European transport market than freight to be transported.
The lull lasted until mid-February. Due to Easter business and the slowly improving weather conditions in Southern Europe at the end of the first quarter the transport barometer already indicated a ratio of 35 to 65 again in March. Despite the increase, freight share remained below last year's level recording a freight - vehicle ratio of 44 to 56. Taking a look at the initial quarters of the past three years, the month of January was always slack and February often ailing before spring finally stimulated the economy.
Trend for the upcoming months
Marcel Frings, Chief Representative, sees the economic prospects to be positive: "Looking back over the past years I am expecting a similarly steep rise, at least in the next few weeks. The transport barometer currently indicates 39 percent freight share. With regard to freight this year started off well compared to 2012, however, the drop was greater than in 2011. I assume that spring with rising temperatures as well as the end of the winter break in construction business will have a positive effect on the transport market. After a long time of abstinence many amateur gardeners will finally want to buy flower soil again to get things going in the garden."