Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/12/2013 -- Following a year which BMI believes saw increasing volumes in all freight modes but one, 2013 will signal stronger growth across all freight transport sectors.
Total trade is projected to pick up with our Country Risk desk forecasting a year-on-year (y-o-y) increase of 4.20% in 2013 following an estimated growth of 1.95% in 2012.
Road freight is to continue to dominate the sector and is projected to increase by 0.5% in 2013. The mode did not manage to defy the downturn and so far appears to be struggling to start recovering its pre-2008 volumes.
BMI notes that inland waterway freight fully recovered its 2006 levels thanks to two years of strong growth. Stronger growth is projected at the country's major seaports.
Headline Industry Data
- 2013 Air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 7.6%
- 2013 Rail freight is forecast to grow by 0.1%
- 2013 Port of Antwerp throughput is forecast to grow by 5.1%
- 2013 Port of Antwerp container throughput is forecast to grow by 5.7%
- 2013 Road freight is forecast to grow by 0.5%
- 2013 Inland waterway freight is forecast to grow by 2.0%
- 2013 Total real trade growth is forecast at 4.2%
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Key Industry Trends
Antwerp's Road Shows Amid Slowdown In Growth
The port of Antwerp went on a series of road shows in a bid to emphasise its role in international trade as throughput growth at the port continued to slow. Road shows were organised in five key ports in October 2012 - three in North America and two in China. Throughput results at the port of Antwerp were down yo- y after the first nine months of 2012.
DP World Antwerp Quits Breakbulk
Major global port operator DP World has sold its stake in the breakbulk terminal at Antwerp to concentrate on its box operations. DP World's recent decisions to offload its stakes are part of a wider trend of selling off some of its assets, as the company restructures.
Container Barge Traffic Goes Online
From September 2012 all container barges are obliged to use the Barge Traffic System (BTS) at all container handling terminals at the port of Antwerp. BTS is a free internet application which presents a standardised communication procedure instead of a number of different bilateral agreements between container barge operators and terminal operators.
Freight Volumes Falling at Liege Airport
The decline in global air cargo industry is blamed for falls in cargo volumes through Europe's seventhlargest cargo airport.
Risks to Outlook
Despite enjoying a sprighly recovery following the global financial crisis, the Belgian economy is now struggling against mounting headwinds from the eurozone. A particular concern is the national debt that, at close to 100% of GDP, leaves Belgium vulnerable to a deterioration in risk sentiment and slowdown in economic growth.
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