ING anticipates early recovery for public transport and aviation
Economists at ING think this year could present an opportunity for passenger and cargo airlines, as well as public transportation, to show signs of a recovery. Parcel and post transportation already grew by over 20 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, and transportation and logistics of freight was likely to approach 10 percent growth compared to 2019 figures.
The bank’s economics team predicts an increase in passengers will rise if the urgency around the coronavirus situation begins to fade. However, they will still lag far behind the pre-pandemic levels.
Economists said the amount of passengers in the aviation sector, which dropped significantly during the coronavirus crisis, could rise again this year to 60 percent of pre-pandemic numbers. For public transportation, the number of passengers could even rise to 75 percent of what it was before the pandemic.
ING does not believe that a full recovery of passenger transportation is on the horizon just yet, as travel behavior has changed due to the pandemic.
The ground transportation of goods already surpassed the pre-coronavirus situation last year. Growth in this area will not be as strong this year compared to last, the economists believe. Growth is also slowing in postal and parcel transport, but that sector has already grown more than 20 percent compared to the beginning of 2019.
Personnel shortages could still stall growth of logistics companies, and available workers are becoming more scarce. In addition, one in three drivers is over 55 years old, and not nearly enough people have been trained to replace them as they approach retirement. Therefore, the pressure on companies is increasing. High absenteeism due to illness and European regulations on the number of trips one can make outside the Netherlands also hinder the efficient deployment of staff, according to ING.
The increased costs of wages, fuel and materials are probably easier to calculate. Due to the strong fragmentation of road transport, this is normally hardly possible, but in the current market everyone wants to be able to cover the costs. Therefore, transport prices for shops, construction and industry will also rise.
Reporting by ANP.