Netherlands Freight Transport Report Q1 2014 - New Study Released

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Jan 30 2014

A Return To Positive Growth Expected For 2014

Most indicators showed that the Dutch economy was still struggling in the second half of 2013, but we are forecasting a recovery in 2014 based on an upturn in regional trade trends. GDP fell by 0.2% quarter-onquarter in Q213, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of retrenchment and leaving no doubt that the Netherlands is in recession. The biggest casualty has been household spending, held back by falling property prices and high unemployment. Retail sales have been falling since early 2011; industrial output is weak; and business confidence is low (although there are signs that it is bottoming out). On the plus side, real exports have begun to grow, and although the improvement is small, we expect them to be the main motor of recovery in 2014. Indeed, the economy is heavily integrated with the eurozone through its well anchored current account surplus, meaning that economic growth is bolstered during times of strong global demand and is left particularly vulnerable during cyclical downturns. The Netherlands is also particularly unique among its eurozone peers in that it is a major platform for re-exporting goods that arrive at Dutch ports to the rest of Europe.

Full Report Details at

In terms of core forecasts, we maintain that following a year of real GDP contraction in 2013, the Dutch economy will return to positive economic growth in 2014 alongside the broader recovery in the eurozone. Indeed, we project real GDP to fall by 0.6% in 2013 and to expand by 1.1% in 2014. We expect growth to peak at 1.8% in 2016 before tapering off to 1.2% by the end of our forecast period in 2023.

Consistent with our macro-economic view we expect freight activity levels across all transport modes to be higher in 2014 than they were in 2013. In most cases the improvement is a matter of one or two percentage points in volume growth rates. It is important to point out that because of the Netherland's role as a European gateway, growth will also in most cases outstrip the improvement we are projecting for GDP.

Headline Industry Data

* Port of Rotterdam bulk throughput forecast for 2014: growth of 2.6% to 462.247mn tonnes. Container traffic to expand by 2.1% to 12.261mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
* 2014 port of Amsterdam bulk throughput forecast to grow by 2.1% to 79.853mn tonnes. Container traffic to grow by 1.3% to 44,333 TEUs.
* 2014 rail freight total tonnage volume growth to come in at 2.7%, to reach 39.502mn tonnes.
* 2014 road freight total tonnage volume growth at 2.6%, to reach 570.916mn tonnes.
* 2014 inland waterway freight total tonnage volume growth to be at 2.5% to reach 359.475mn tonnes.
* 2014 total trade growth forecast set at 4.4% in real terms - a recovery on the 2.8% growth rate estimated for 2013.
* Export growth remains slow at 2.5% in 2014, but imports set to accelerate to 6.2%.

Key Industry Trends

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Contact Name: Bill Thompson
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