Times have been tough, economically, across much of Europe for the past few years, and it is hardly surprising that many countries saw big protest votes in the elections for the European parliament which have just taken place.
Nevertheless, new supply chain statistics reveal signs that economies are improving right across Europe. The evidence comes from latest Transport Market Monitor, produced by Transporeon and Capgemini, which shows that for the first quarter European road transport prices are 1.4 per cent up on last year – a sure sign of growth in the market.
The indices in the report are based on the data from Transporeon, which some €2bn of transport volume across the continent each year.
Global trade flow figures from Capgemini also show that Q1 2014 trade volumes increased with 1.3 per cent to €663bn in Europe compared to Q4 2013 (€654bn). Compared to the same period in 2013 (€657bn), there is an increase of 0.8 per cent.
And the Transporeon/Capgemini figures also show that transport rates have been rising at the same time that capacity has been increasing. However, they also recorded a small fall in the diesel price index giving improved margins for transport operators.
These figures tend to support the latest forecasts of 1.6 per cent GDP growth in the European Union this year. Nevertheless, there is a warning from Capgemini/Transporeon that transport prices have become more volatile over the past few years. That could be a risk in itself.