2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era

Freight transport and logistics

Anticipated market development (%)



German freight transport (based on tkm)



European rail freight transport (based on tkm)



European land transport (based on revenues)



Global air freight (based on t)



Global ocean freight (based on TEU)



Global contract logistics (based on revenues)



The data for 2017 and 2018 are based on information and estimates available as of February 2018.
Expectations for 2018 are rounded off to the nearest half percentage point.

For 2018, we expect increasing transport demand in the German freight transport market in an environment of continued overall positive economic trends. Notwithstanding bottlenecks in transport capacities, the market will continue to be characterized by fierce inter- and intramodal competitive pressure.

In 2018, rail freight transport in Germany should return to growth following weak development in the year under review. We expect performance growth as a result of the continued stimuli from a positive economic environment, supported by a positive baseline effect after the restrictions in rail operations in the year under review. In addition, we expect further positive effects from the agreed reduction in train-path prices for rail freight transport, which in turn will slightly dampen truck transport development. Strong and above-average growth in performance is also expected for the road in 2018. A different picture emerges with regard to inland waterway transport. Even excluding weather-related restrictions and the expected positive baseline effect following the very low water levels, we expect below-average development in line with the long-term trend.

  • Positive development is expected for the European rail freight transport market. Growth should be supported mainly by intra-European trade in consumer and capital goods, which should stimulate the intermodal transport market.
  • We expect slight revenue growth for the European land transport market. This market is mainly impacted by the rising costs of subcontractors and the price adjustments resulting from these, among other things.
  • The expectations for the global air freight market in 2018 are modest due to the strong growth in the year under review. As far as capacity is concerned, shortages are not anticipated given the continuing supply of new aircraft and addition of new routes. It is expected that rates will remain at a high level as some carriers are con­­­sidering introducing additional extra fees, such as the reintroduction of a fuel surcharge.
  • Volume growth in global ocean freight is expected to be slightly below the level of the year under review. We expect to see a further increase in rate levels, primarily caused by the ongoing consolidation of container shipping companies and the formation of new alliances.
  • We expect continued, selective growth particularly in the Asia/Pacific and European regions in contract logistics.