The European road freight sector endured another year of weak growth and anaemic profits, according to the latest market report from Transport Intelligence, European Road Freight Transport 2014.
Overall the industry experienced growth of just 1% in 2013, weighed down by the impact of stagnation in the Eurozone. Only markets in Central and Eastern Europe prospered, with Poland, the largest market in the region growing by 5.8%. The UK was the best performing of the larger markets in Western Europe, with growth of 2.0% mostly derived from its economic recovery.
Across Europe operating margins remained low, hampered by the weak volumes which, according to analysis contained in the report, are the biggest single influence on profitability. Across a snapshot of markets, UK hauliers had the best margins, but at 2.5% they were hardly exciting.