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Freight transport demand by mode and group of goods

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
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Assessment made on  01 Mar 2004

Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • TERM 013
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  Break the link between economic growth and freight transport growth

Key messages

  • Freight transport demand has grown fast, and has generally been coupled to the growth in GDP. Consequently the objective of decoupling GDP and transport growth is no closer. However, the apparently close link is not evident when looking at individual regions (e.g. old 15). The difference in transport intensity between the old and the new member states is great but decreasing.

  • The share of road freight transport increased during the 1992 - 2002 period. The modal shares of rail and inland waterways continue to decrease, thereby moving away from the objective of stabilising the share of alternative transport modes.


Key assessment

Rapidly growing demand

Freight transport demand has grown significantly since 1992, thereby making it increasingly difficult to limit the environmental consequences of transport. The main underlying factors that stimulate the growth in freight transport are globalisation of the economy and liberalisation of the internal market, combined with a price of freight transport that remains relatively low (see TERM 2002 20 EU - Transport prices).

Modal split in freight transport

The share of alternative modes (rail+inland waterways) in freight transport has declined during the last decade. As a result, the objective of stabilising the shares of rail, inland waterways, short sea shipping and oil pipelines, and to make for a shift of balance from 2010 onwards, outlined in the Common Transport Policy (CTP) will not be achieved unless a strong reversal of the current trend (see fig. 1) is achieved.

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