The market moderation seen in the second half of 2022 is expected to spill over into 2023. As a result, Ti forecasts that the European road freight market will lose speed in 2023, expanding by only 1.1% in real terms (holding prices and exchange rates constant) to reach €389,338m.
Overall, downward forces will gain more of an upper hand across Europe in 2023. However, slowing economic growth in the EU exacerbated by high inflation will weaken demand for road freight services in, through and out of Europe.
Europe’s domestic road freight market is projected to grow by just 0.7% in real terms, while the European international road freight market is projected to grow by 2.1% in 2023.
Considering the economic incertitude, it is difficult to make reliable forecasts for the years ahead, and the outlook for the European road freight market will depend on the outcome of various unpredictable factors:
Looking across Europe as a whole, there will be considerable variance in performance. Many markets from Eastern Europe are forecasted to perform better than Western European countries. Germany, Italy and the UK are forecasted to be some of the slowest-growing road freight markets in 2023.
European Road Freight Transport Market – Countries with Strongest & Weakest Growth 2023
Growth to 2026
According to Ti forecasts, the region’s total road freight market will grow by 2.4% in the next five years to reach €420,150m by 2026.
Based on solid trade forecasts, the international road freight market is expected to grow faster than the domestic during the five years, although it will remain the smaller of the two markets.
Nonetheless, the 5-year forecasts for European road freight are uncertain and subject to unpredictable factors such as the length and the outcome of the war in Ukraine, the response to increasing inflation, and the rising cost base for road freight services.
For more in-depth information, download the European Road Freight Transport Market Forecasts for 2022, 2023 and 2026 Whitepaper, which contains 2023 forecast growth data with analysis of international and domestic projections. The paper also analyses the various economic headwinds impacting the market in the year ahead, including the energy crisis, rising inflation, manufacturing downturn and driver shortages.
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Source: Transport Intelligence, 18th November 2022
Author: Marta Chiriatti