Road transport market reaches 19 billion EUR in 2023, with annual growth rate of 8.5 pct

The road transport market reached a value of almost 19 billion EUR in 2023, of which 17 billion was road freight transport, the average annual growth rate of the last 5 years being 8.5%, according to a study by the National Union of Road Hauliers in Romania (UNTRR).

According to the source, the road transport sector is Romania’s leading exporter of services, with 7.81 billion EUR in 2023, ahead of IT services exports of 7.772 billion EUR and a positive balance (export-import) of 6.226 billion EUR, ahead of the IT services balance of 5.9 billion EUR.

The contribution of road transport to GDP formation was 3% in 2022, and 2.6% came from the freight road transport segment.

The study also points out that the road transport sector continues to be the “backbone of freight logistics”. In the last two years, it has accounted for 71% of all freight transported (including sea) or 72% (exclusively sea) of total freight mileage measured in million tonne-kilometres.

Of Romania’s total foreign trade in goods (million tonnes), Romanian carriers transport 57% of the country’s goods imports and 66% of its exports.

“Romania’s accession to the Schengen area with land borders is an urgent matter. The negative effects of not joining Schengen include: financial losses in the industry (losses of 2.55 billion EUR last year, 2.41 billion EUR in 2022 and 19.1 billion EUR between 2012 and 2023) or extremely long waiting times at the border (8-16 hours usually at the border with Hungary, 3 days during holiday periods, with a historical maximum of 5 days, at the entrance to Bulgaria, waiting times of 20-30 hours usually, with 3 days in the summer and 7 days standard for trucks with goods for Austria),” the research says.

“The crisis of professional drivers remains a major challenge for companies. Currently, road hauliers face a shortage of up to 33,800 professional truck drivers. For the period 2023 – 2030, the conservative forecast scenario shows an annual growth of 1% in volume and 8% in value of the road haulage market, which is estimated to reach almost 30 billion EUR,” the research further shows.