ProgTrans/ZEW Transportmarktbarometer (Transport Market Barometer) – Moderate Price Increases and Rising Transport Volume


In view of a more positive assessment of the economic development and foreign trade trends, the transport industry is expected to record an increased transport volume in all transport branches as well as a moderate growth in transport prices. These are the findings of the current ProgTrans/ZEW Transportmarktbarometer (Transport Market Barometer), a quarterly survey among 300 top executives from the transport and loading industry conducted by ProgTrans AG, Basel, and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

According to the experts interviewed in the first quarter of 2006, the individual transport branches and relations will profit to a different extent from the increasing transport volume in the coming six months. Compared to the previous quarter, less than 50 per cent forecast a higher transport volume in rail traffic. With regard to inland navigation, on the other hand, a smaller share of experts than in the previous quarter expects a lower transport volume. The majority of the experts assume that transport volumes in other transport branches such as road freight, combined traffic, courier, express and parcel services as well as air freight will mainly increase. The expected rise of transport volumes in the maritime transport sector, however, is lower than in the previous quarters. Growth expectations for German and West European domestic traffic have, by now, evened out at a rather similar level. Estimates on the development of demand in Eastern Europe, particularly regarding road and rail freight, have slightly increased. Growth expectations for intercontinental transport relations, especially with the Asia/Pacific region, are booming again.

The experts’ opinions on the further development of transport prices were mainly driven by the pronounced volume growth expected for the individual transport branches and relations, by the oil prices increases, now obviously classified as merely moderate, and by other cost factors. In contrast, the prices-decreasing influence of transport competitors from new EU Member States is no longer as visible as before. In all transport branches and relations, the prices increases expected on a six-month horizon are lower than in the previous quarter, but still vary largely among the modes of transport and submarkets. For road, air and maritime transport the majority of the experts expect growing prices. The forecasted price increases for intercontinental traffic are higher than for national and European relations. According to the experts, the transport prices in all other modes of transport (rail, inland navigation) will rather stagnate than increase.

The ProgTrans/ZEW Transportmarktbarometer (Transport Market Barometer)

Since 1998 the ProgTrans AG in Basel and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim have conducted a quarterly survey among 300 top executives of the transport and shipper industry in Germany concerning the development on the transport markets. The experts are asked to assess the coming six months regarding to what extent transport volume and transport prices will rise (significantly/slightly), fall (significantly/slightly) or remain unchanged. It comprises the following sections within the national and transnational transport to Western and Eastern Europe: road freight, rail freight, inland navigation, combined transport, and CEP services. Moreover, the experts assess the development in air and sea freight in Germany and other European countries en routes to North America and the Asia-Pacific region.


Dr. Stefan Rommerskirchen (progtrans), Phone +41(0)61/56035-10, E-mail

Dr. Georg Bühler (ZEW), E-mail