Themes: CargoEurope
05. October 2014

“In contrast, road freight transport in Germany is growing"

Across the EU, freight transport is being slowly shifted to the railways

Work for the Grand Coalition: when it comes to shifting freight from the roads to the more environmentally modes of transport, the EU average is better than in Germany.

Berlin, October 5, 2014. In a White Paper published in 2011 by the European Commission, the EU defined a target that “by 2030, 30 percent of freight being transported over 300 kilometres by road will have been shifted to other modes of transport such the railways or shipping”. The EU has now started to make progress towards this goal, with both rail freight and the inland waterways gaining market share over the last five years at the expense of road based transport, which lost market share across the EU. These figures were published by the European statistics office eurostat at the beginning of October.

“Whereas freight transport across the EU is slowly being shifted to the more environmentally modes of transport, the inland waterways and the railways, road freight transport in Germany increased. This is a very sad development,” criticised Dirk Flege, managing director of the German Pro-Rail Alliance on Sunday in Berlin. Between 2007 and 2012, freight transport on the inland waterways and the railway saw an increase in market share of 0.9 percent, reaching a joint total of 25.5 percent. By contrast, their combined market share in Germany dropped by one percent during the same period.

The highest combined market shares achieved by rail freight and the inland waterways were in:

1. Latvia (84.3 percent, +3.7 percentage increase between 2007 and 2012)
2. Lithuania (70.4 percent, -0.7)
3. Estonia (67 percent, -6.6)
4. Rumania (60.6 percent, +13)
5. The Netherlands (52.5 percent, +0.9)
6. Bulgaria (47.1 percent, -2.3)
7. Slovakia (41.4 percent, -5.3
8. Sweden (37.2 percent, +2.7)
9. Austria (36.6 percent, -2.4)
10. Hungary (36.4 percent, +4.4)

Germany is ranked 13th in the EU list with a market share of 29.7 percent (-1.0). The lowest market shares are in Ireland (1.1 percent, +0.3) and Greece (1.5 percent, -1.8).

“With plans to simultaneously reduce motorway charges on heavy goods vehicles and to increase the burden on electric trains by imposing higher levies to fund renewable energy sources, this undesirable development in Germany is set to continue. In this current legislative, the Grand Coalition has so far still not signalled how it intends to reach the target shifting freight to the railways as defined in the EU’s White Paper on Transport or in its own coalition agreement,” complained the Pro-Rail Alliance manager.

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