Local freight carriers post record turnover of over RON 75 bln in 2021

The turnover of local freight carriers decreased marginally in 2020, by 0.7% compared to 2019, but remained 36% above the 2016 level, to almost lei 66 billion.

If in 2020 we saw the marginal decrease in turnover based on the change of consumer behaviour (more food retail items at the expense of durable goods) generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, for 2021 we estimate not only a recovery, but a significant advance based on the increased volumes and the considerable transmission of inflationary pressures throughout the supply chain, to a record level of over lei 75 billion. However, we expect an adjustment in profitability margins following the increase in raw materials, fuel, utilities, credit, and labour costs,” said Diana Florescu, economic analyst at KeysFin, one of the most important providers of business information solutions in Romania.

The net result of local freight carriers (net profit minus net loss) increased at an accelerated rate, by 60% compared to 2019 and was 135% above the 2016 level, reaching the record level of lei 3.8 billion in 2020.

The number of companies in the freight industry increased by 7% compared to 2019 and was 27% above the 2016 level, reaching a record level of 44.5 thousand firms in 2020.

Top Local Freight Carriers

AQUILA PART PROD COM SRL remained market leader in 2020, with a record turnover of almost lei 1.5 billion (2.2% of the total) after the largest nominal and percentage annual advance in top 10 of 58% and 540 million lei respectively, as a result of the acquisition of the food distributor Agrirom.

GRUP FEROVIAR ROMAN SA maintained its second position in the leader board by turnover (it is also the third employer and number 3 in terms of profitability) with revenues of lei 692 million in 2020.

If the first 2 players remained the same, TIM RAIL CARGO SRL jumped directly to 5th place following the second annual percentage and nominal advance in top 10 of 48% and lei 158 million, with a turnover of lei 490 million in 2020.

Cumulatively, the top 10 local freight carriers had a turnover of lei 5.8 billion, or 8.9% of the total industry in 2020.

Local freight carrier workforce

The number of employees in the local freight transporting industry decreased by 2% compared to 2019, but remained 11% above the 2016 level, at about 184 thousand employees in 2020.

As for the largest employers, the leader remains SOCIETATEA ROMANA DE TRANSPORT FEROVIAR SA (THE ROMANIAN RAILWAY COMPANY), with 4.8 thousand employees representing 2.6% of the total, followed by AQUILA PART PROD COM SRL with 2.5 thousand employees and by GRUP FEROVIAR ROMAN SA with 2.2 thousand employees in 2020.

More than two thirds of the goods in Romania, transported by road

The volume of goods transported in Romania increased by 14% compared to 2020, to 449 million tons in 2021, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics.

Romanian road freight transport increased by 15.1% compared to 2020, to 307 million tons in 2021, rail freight increased by 15.6% to 57.4 million tons, sea freight by 12.5% to 53 million tons, inland waterway transport also increased by 5.2% compared to 2020 to 32 million tons, while air transport increased by 1.9% to 41 thousand tons in 2021.

As a share of transport mode, KeysFin analysts note a 0.6 percentage points increase in road transport to 68.3% of the total in 2021. Rail freight transport follows with 12.8% of the total (0.2 percentage points increase compared to 2020), sea transport with almost 12% of the total (0.2 percentage points annual decrease) and inland waterway transport with 7.1% of the total (0.6 percentage points annual decrease) in 2021.

Note: The KeysFin analysis is based on annual, non-adjusted, aggregated financial data reported by companies to the Ministry of Finance (at the end of the period) that had as main scope of activity one of the following NACE codes: 4920 – freight rail transport, 4941 – freight transport by road or 5229 – other transportation support activities. All figures are expressed in lei and the data was extracted at in April 2022.

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