EU-CIS road freight traffic dynamics in 2018: plus 14% for exports, minus 3% for imports

<p>In 2018, compared with the previous year, the market of international road freight transportation between the European Union and the largest CIS countries - Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan - in physical terms decreased by 3% for imports from the EU and increased by 14.3% for exports.</p>
<p>The largest negative dynamics of imports was observed in the Republic of Belarus: -18%, the main volume of reduction came from fresh fruit and vegetables. The same country has the best indicators for the dynamics of exports to the EU - almost 30%. Exports from Belarus increased mainly due to shipments of wood and wooden products.</p>
<p>The Russian Federation and Ukraine in 2018 slightly deviated from the import volumes of 2017: -2.3% and +2.8%, respectively. Russia reduced imports of industrial equipment by almost a third (goods under TN VED code 84 moved from the ranking of the most imported goods to the second line after plastics and plastic products). Exports increased from both countries - here high dynamics provided wood and wood products, iron and steel.</p>
<p>Imports to Kazakhstan, after negative dynamics in the first half of the year, turned to growth in the second half of the year, actually repeating in 2018 the volume of 2017. Exports from Kazakhstan grew at a high rate in all months except August and September, increasing by 26% by the end of the year. Oilseeds and fruits and grains were the most growing export group of goods.</p>
<p>Experts' comments</p>
<p>Elena Sazonchik, marketing director: "Russia's international road freight market slowly declined in 2018. From the second quarter to the end of the year, the slight negative dynamics of imports from the European Union to the Russian Federation gradually increased. The decrease in volumes was primarily due to commodity group 84 of the TN VED, which includes industrial equipment and other heavy goods, so in the number of transport orders, the market remained in a slight positive trend.</p>
<p>FMCG goods accounted for the largest volume of imports from the European Union to the Russian Federation - about a quarter of the total cargo traffic in physical terms. Shares of 12-13% were taken by chemistry and electronic and domestic appliances; 8-9% - import of plastics and paper; 6-7% - automotive products and metals. As for export, timber transportation took more than 50% of volumes, metals - 14%, chemicals - 10%, FMCG - 7%".</p>
<p>Andrey Abragimovich, General Director: "The results of the TELS trucking division in 2018 showed a growth of +25% in transportation orders and +20% in the cost of services rendered. But our development is primarily due to an increase in the company's fleet and loading of new vehicles. The supply of freight during the year was slowly decreasing. Fuel costs and wages of international drivers increased. While vehicle mileage increased, the profitability of transportation remained at the same level - we worked harder for the same money.</p>
<p>August 2018 once again reminded Russian international carriers of currency risks. The weakening ruble reduced the profitability of transport companies and stimulated customers to reduce shipments of imported products in anticipation of falling consumer demand. This has partially redistributed the volume of transport orders from complete road transportation in favor of services for delivery of prefabricated cargoes.</p>