The transport and logistics sector usually dreads the third quarter of every business year. Although there are no major public holidays in July, August and September, the summer holidays take place. Despite the rather unfavourable conditions, freight share in TIMOCOM’s transport barometer is 52% which is a whole five percentage points above last year’s reference result.
With a freight-vehicle ratio of 52:48 for the routes “All countries served/All countries served”, this quarter TIMOCOM’s transport barometer indicates a positive value in the freight share for the second time in a row. The transport industry had to wait one and a half years for this to happen. The last time that two consecutive quarters ended with a surplus in freight was in 2011. TimCom’s transport barometer confirms a trend which various studies also predict: it is going upward!
Positive mood is spreading
The quarter already started with optimism. July benefited from the previous month (50:50 in June) and remained almost on the same level with a freight-vehicle ratio of 48:52. “Already at that early point in time there were indications that freight share in the third quarter would be close to the levels of 2011”, says TIMOCOM’s Chief Representative Marcel Frings, “The positive atmosphere continued in August and the ‘silly season’ – if it can even be called that – only showed a minor decline this year.”
In fact, the holiday season was busier than last year. The “small curve” in August was merely a change of one percentage in favour of vehicle space. The summer month ended with a freight-vehicle ratio of 47:53. Towards the end of the month, however, the first signs of what was to come in September were already noticeable.
The last school holidays had just finished in the European countries when TIMOCOM recorded some powerful swings of the transport barometer. Business picked up again, however, this year in September considerably more freight was transported than last year. TIMOCOM’s transport barometer recorded a percentage increase which was just as sharp as during the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) weeks of 2008 and 2009. Freight share gained a full twelve percentage points, which lead to a final freight-vehicle ratio of 59:41 in September.
With these positive results nothing seems to be in the way of an end of year spurt filled with plenty of freight. Frings thinks: “If the tendency of the past few months continues, the demand for vehicle space will grow immensely. We are currently expecting from a stable to an increased volume in freight for the 4th quarter.”
So the transport and logistics industry can hope to get a nice surprise even before the Christmas shopping business starts. Thanks to the positive development of transport volumes, freight rates will also rise noticeably.