The recession's burden, and the enterprises first signs of optimism
The automotive’s economy overall data in the customary Confetra research.
The turnaround, already registered in the Confetra memo on the economy for the first half of the year, was strengthened in relation to the whole year. However, the modest positive results point to the fragility of the recovery. The best results in terms of recorded traffic, in the following order, container shipping, road transport and international air transport confirm that the recovery has been driven by foreign trade, while domestic demand remains weak.
The Confetra Note on the economy for the year 2013 shows a reversal in the negative trend in road transport. The international land transport sector covers mainly European traffic: the positive result of road carriers (+3.4%) compared to the unchanged figures of land freight forwarders (0%), shows that the European Union, where goods can circulate freely, can now be likened to the domestic market served by major logistics carriers and 3PL.
The best performing results - in terms of traffic and revenue - belong to the couriers’ sector, showing that it still has room for expansion.
On the other hand, rail transport records a decrease (-5.2%), although there was an improvement compared to the first half of the year (where the value was -7.4%), due to an increase in combined transport.
According to Confetra, turnover data confirm the continued erosion of margins in all sectors, particularly in international shipping. Indicators of financial liquidity crisis have worsened, average collection times (87 days compared to 85 in the first half) and insolvencies have increased compared to the turnover (2.4% compared to 2.1% in the first half).
Accounts uncollectible continue to be a growing plague (+258.2% 2009-2013). The non-performing loans (bad debts) of companies in the "Transport and storage" sector have grown by 14.7% in one year (fourth quarter 2013/fourth quarter of 2012), exceeding 3.4 billion euro. If we consider the period from the first quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2013, the increase is equal to 258.2%.
Regarding expectations for 2014, only a minority of operators (15%) fear a recession, while the majority is cautiously optimistic (44% expect a traffic growth and 41% expect it to be stable).
From January 1, 2014, the Ministries of Transport and Economy have approved an increase in motorway tariffs: the average increase is 3.98%. In the course of 2013 the price of diesel fuel, excluding VAT, was reduced by an average of -2.9%. In Italy excises weigh in on the final price of diesel , which, in the course of the year 2013, amounted to 61.74 cents per liter. For road haulage companies the increase of excise duties levied on consumption by vehicles below 7.5 tons is softened by a quarterly recovery of excise duties by tax credits applies.
The trend in the registration of transport vehicles in Italy in 2013 compared to 2012 showed a decrease of -8.3%. Particularly significant was the decline in the first ten months of the year (-16.4% compared to 2012) followed by a marked turnaround in the last two months of the year ( December recorded a growth of +87, 5%), probably justified by government incentives in favor of road haulage companies for the purchase of vehicles under Euro 6 regulations from June to December 2013.
According to Aiscat, the data relating to traffic of heavy vehicles on Italian motorways during 2013 indicates a decline of -2.4% over the previous year. The greatest reductions were recorded in the months of March (-10%), February (-6.2%) and June (-5.1%). On the other hand positives figures were recorded in the months of January, September and December, but these should be read in the light of the sharp contraction observed during the previous year.