A rather unusual market development

TimoCom's transport barometer fluctuates constantly in the 2nd quarter


Dusseldorf 2014-07-31 – TimoCom's transport barometer has given surprises in all areas in the 2nd quarter. The freight - vehicle ratio varied from month to month and in some cases with figures significantly lower than in the previous year. However, just as drastically as the freight share fell, it rose at the end of the quarter. And so the 2nd quarter ended with a freight - vehicle ratio of 52:48, almost the same as in 2012 (54:46) and 2013 (53:47).

Changeable, inconsistent and too cold for this time of year - what sounds a bit like a weather forecast hits the nail on the head when it comes to TimoCom's transport barometer in this quarter. At the beginning of the quarter the transport market continued with the momentum of February and March.  The freight share rose during this period almost 25 percentage points, from a freight - vehicle ratio of 30:70 (February) to 54:46 (April). But in the merry month of May, the glory was over. The freight share in TimoCom's transport barometer fell to 48% and lays more than 10% below its value in May 2013. "The evolution of TimoCom's transport barometer was indeed in the first two months of the quarter unpredictable," says Marcel Frings, TimoCom's Chief Representative. "We had expected that we would have a clear surplus in freight but instead the freight share sank in the European transport market by 6 percentage points."


Floods and bank holidays dim the results

According to TimoCom, this development is basically due to two phenomena which occurred in May. Firstly, only in this month there were more bank holidays than in any other month of the year. Added together they were a total of 24 bank holidays within the European countries. Secondly, the transport market in South East Europe collapsed due to the floods in the Balkans. The flood catastrophe in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina not only had devastating consequences for the people and the economy of the countries affected, but also for the other countries in Europe. "As a result, we must take back our statement made at the end of the 1st quarter according to which in the 2nd quarter there would be a lot freight and a lack of vehicle space," says Frings, "it seems as if TimoCom's transport barometer wanted to highlight the word 'inconsistency' and so in June it took yet another unexpected turn."

Over the past four years, the freight share in the transport barometer knew only one direction between the months of May and June: downward. In 2013 it fell a full ten percentage points in the European road transport market, from a freight - vehicle ratio of 60:40 in May to a balanced 50:50 in June. The year before, it fell at least five percentage points. Even here the 2nd quarter in 2014 is particular. On the contrary to the expected, TimoCom's transport barometer was able to recover. In the last month of the quarter, the freight - vehicle ratio in the European road transport market was 54:46.


First half of the year full of surprises

Based on the experience from the first six months, the outlook for the 3rd quarter is somewhat more cautious: "At this point, we expect that by the end of the following quarter there will be a surplus of vehicle space. The summer months and the holiday season traditionally see to a lull in the transport market. In September, freight business picks up again", says Frings.

Likewise positive is a view of the number of offers in TimoCom's freight and vehicle exchange TC Truck&Cargo®. The level here in the first four months of the year rose around 20% in comparison to the same period of the previous year. Theoretically, more freight must have been transported - and that gave the transport market in Europe a further impulse.

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