Trucking Market Overview: Germany

  • The trucking industry in Germany is highly fragmented with intense competition existing among the suppliers giving the shippers higher bargaining power
  • Trucking capacity is comparatively tight in the northern part of Germany predominantly due to higher demand from major logistics hubs and port locations in the region

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Trucking Market Overview

  • Road freight is the major mode of transportation in the country, with small and medium-scale players contributing to ~80 percent of the total trucks
  • 25 percent of the fleet operators in the country currently have more than 100 trucks, while the rest are small and micro enterprises
  • Majority of manufacturers across FMCG, pharmaceutical, and machinery equipment are located in the northern part of the country, which reflects on the trucking capacity

Demand for Trucking

  • Demand is mostly driven by FMCG, pharmaceutical, and machinery equipment movement
  • Berlin is the region for major automotive companies, driving the demand for trucking services, due to the export of commercial vehicles from that region
  •  The German trucking industry is experiencing an overall excess capacity, creating intense competition among service providers

Key Insight 

  • It is observed that there is oversupply of trucks in the German market with stable demand, shippers procuring trucking service will have superior bargaining power due to this situation
  • Shippers generally engage with multiple service providers to maintain regular supply of trucks and reduce the risk in their supply chain

Trucking Dynamics and Regulations: Germany

  • The weight limitations of trucks have not been revised by the government recently, and hence, will have minimal impact on freight rates, with maximum weight limit can go up to 44 tons for 6 axles
  • Minimum wage of drivers has been revised recently, which is one of the major components for operating a truck in the market
  • Trucking volume have grown steadily at ~1 percent post the economic crisis and has resulted in increase in the registration of new trucks
  • The overall commercial trucking market in Germany has seen a 7.5 percent increase in Q1, with demand being driven by automotive and manufacturing industries

Driving Regulations and Prevalent Restrictions

  • Drivers can work for a maximum of 45 hours per week as per the government regulations, with 10-hour driving twice a week, with compensations for the same
  • Vehicles with weight limit more than 7.5 tons are prohibited for movement between 12.00 am and 10.00 pm during Sundays and public holidays
  • The country has implemented minimum wages of €8.84 per hour from 2017

Key Insight

  • The increase in heavy commercial truck registrations in the market is a positive sign for shippers procuring trucking service in Germany, with enough capacity available in the market
  • Increase in minimum wage for truck drivers in Germany will have a minimal impact on the freight rates for trucking service, due to excess supply in the market

Trucking Cost Structure Analysis: Germany

Fuel and driver wages are the major components that contribute to the overall operating cost of the truck. In the recent times, fuel cost is on the rise and also, the new regulation of minimum wage for drivers will have an impact on freight rates.

Major Impactful Drivers

  • Fuel Cost: It has increased from 1.01 €/liter in April 2016 to 1.17 €/liter in March 2017, nearly a 15 percent increase one year, and this trend is expected to continue until the end of 2017
  • Driver Wages: The average driver wage is ~3,000 €/month. In January 2015, the government has brought in the new regulation of minimum wage of 8.84 €/hour for the truck drivers operating in Germany

Minor Impactful Drivers

  • Toll Cost: The country has different toll rates, based on the number of axles as well as the pollution standards, where the rates vary between 10.2 cents per km for a Euro-5 truck to 20.8 cents for a Euro-2 truck
  • Insurance and Maintenance Charges: The average maintenance and insurance cost for tautliners is less and is around €8,000, which is due to the low average age of the trucks.

Key Insight

Fuel is the most important parameter influencing the market freight rate along with driver wage. It is estimated that freight rate will have a minimal impact by these two factors, due to excess supply of trucks and high competition among the service providers.

Road Freight Index and Diesel Price Trends: Germany

  • Fuel is the major component influencing the freight rate, with positive correlation between diesel price and road freight index
  • The average age of the fleet is around six years, hence, impact of maintenance cost is minimal when compared to other European countries, such as Poland, Macedonia, and Czech Republic
  • Diesel prices have grown by 15 percent between April 2016 and April 2017, with October 2016 recording the highest price of 1.32 €/liter
  • The prices have been in direct correlation with the road freight index, indicating that the freight prices have been impacted mainly by the fuel prices

Key Insight

  • It is observed that freight rate has remained stable in the last two quarters with minimal impact, due to fuel cost and driver wage and this trend is expected to continue in the coming quarters.