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5 March 2014 | Will Green
Two thirds of transport firms globally believe fares and freight charges will rise over the next five years, according to a survey.
But the study, conducted by Norton Rose Fulbright, also found a growing proportion – almost a quarter, compared with 17 per cent in 2010 – expected charges to stay the same.
Rail is the sector where most (75 per cent) expect a rise, compared to 61 per cent in aviation and 66 per cent in shipping.
Regionally, North America is where most respondents believe charges will rise (76 per cent), compared to 70 per cent in Africa, 67 per cent in Asia Pacific, 62 per cent in Europe and 58 per cent in the Middle East. But in Europe there was a “significant strengthening” in the view that charges will stay the same, from 11 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2014.
The report – The way ahead transport survey – where next? – also said more than eight in 10 respondents believed passenger numbers and freight volume would increase over the next five years.
Rail was the most confident sector, with 85 per cent expressing optimism, compared to aviation (81 per cent) and rail shipping (77 per cent).
Geographically, the Middle East was the most optimistic (92 per cent), followed by Asia Pacific (88 per cent), central and South America (87 per cent), Africa (85 per cent) and North America (80 per cent). Europe was the least confident, with 55 per cent anticipating an increase in volumes.
The report said: “An imbalance between supply and demand (eg overcapacity), and fuel availability and cost are seen as the greatest challenges to operational efficiency.
“Fuel price/economy is particularly an issue in aviation because it is the key determining factor in fuel choice, while regulatory, environmental and emissions controls rank fairly low in the list of perceived challenges to efficiency in each sector and rank as only moderate concerns as determinants in fuel choice (although more significant in shipping).”
The survey included 850 responses from across the globe from those working in the sector.