Slump hits haulage business as road and freight levels fall
ROAD freight levels in Ireland fell by one of the largest margins in Europe as the downturn impacted on businesses and consumers, according to new data from EU statistics office Eurostat.
The agency said yesterday that its latest full-year figures, for 2009 show that road freight levels plummeted almost 27pc in Ireland that year. Only two countries -- Romania and Latvia -- recorded bigger declines. The rate of decline in Ireland's road freight traffic levels was the same as that experienced by two other member states -- Estonia and Cyprus.
Ireland's gross domestic product contracted by 7.1pc in 2009, while gross national product tumbled 11.3pc. The falls were the largest declines in output ever recorded in a single year.
Rail freight levels in Ireland also fell over 23pc in 2009, according to Eurostat.
Eurostat said that in an EU-wide context, total freight transported by road fell 10.1pc in 2009, while for rail freight the decline was 17.4pc. Within the 27 member states road transport carries four times as much freight as rail. Within Ireland, rail accounted for just 0.7pc of all freight transport back in 2007, according to a 2009 report from consultancy group Booz & Company.
Four EU countries -- Germany, Poland, France and Spain -- account for just over half of all rail freight in the region.
For road freight, six member states -- Germany, Spain, Poland, France, Italy and the UK -- account for 70pc of the total EU road freight transport. Poland's road freight levels rose 9.6pc in 2009, while those of Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the UK declined by 10pc, 12.8pc, 15.8pc, 7.1pc and 13pc respectively during the year.Eurostat noted that there had been signs of recovery during the first half of 2010, with both road and rail freight levels having risen in the period.