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Global Freight: Slow Change in 2012

The latest update of global freight data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD through December 2012 shows that:

  • Freight volumes, measured in tonnes of goods moved, indicate macroeconomic stagnation since 2012. Trade does not appear to return to pre-crisis patterns in the short-term. 
  • This prompts us to take January 2011 (the most recent peak) as the new point of reference, allowing us to capture more recent trade dynamics better. 
  • External trade by sea continues to stagnate around this new level of reference in the United States and the EU27, but USA imports decline strongly and EU exports grow by 14%. 
  • External trade by air, considered as a lead indicator, shows a possible upward turning point in the United States. 
  • Rail and road freight volumes decline in the EU area, indicating weakening of domestic demand.