testata inforMARE

28 June 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 08:21 GMT+2

June 8, 2022

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Original news
In 2021 the impact of transport costs on value of Italian import-export has risen for the second year consecutive

Significant worsening of the deficit of merchant transport in Italy's balance of payments, which resulted in equal to the record value of -10.9 billion euros

In 2021, the impact of transport costs on the value of goods exported and imported from Italy has risen for the second consecutive year, respectively at 3.3% and 4.9% compared to to 3.1% and 4.3% in 2020. This is revealed by the latest annual survey on international transport of goods to/from Italy carried out by Bank of Italy which is based on interviews conducted at 180 between the main operators of the international transport of goods and on the detection of about 5,500 "standard shipments".

New report shows 2021 increases in prices exceptional sea freight relating to the transport of containers, in particular on routes from China and other Asian countries and those to North America. The analysis shows that to such increases mainly contributed to the limitations on the side of the offer (including the difficulty in finding the containers and congestion in ports) and geographical imbalances of the loading application. Significant increases were recorded in other maritime sectors, such as the transport of solid bulk (minerals and grains) and general goods, due to the increased demand for raw materials and intermediate goods linked to the recovery world economic, while transport costs have fallen maritime oil due to oversupply of hold. Are on the other hand, costs remained stable in the ro-ro sector that deals with the maritime transport of road vehicles. Air freight rates remained on the all-time high reached the previous year for the reduced offer of scheduled flights, the holds of which are used for transport mercantile. In land transport, the increase in average costs has mainly concerning the road sector, in relation to the growth in fuel prices.

The report points out that the sharp increase in freight rates has led to a significant worsening of the transport deficit merchants in Italy's balance of payments (-10.9 billion of euro from -6.8 in 2020), concentrated in the maritime sector. The report specifies that the value of the deficit of 2021 is the most broad - both in absolute terms and in relation to the domestic product gross - registered
for at least forty years.

With regard to road transport, the report explains that in the 2021 saw an increase in average road costs which affected both full and partial loads, in a context of significant increase in volumes handled. The rise of freight - specifies the document - covered all areas geographical destination and origin and derives mainly from an increase in operating costs, due in particular to the increase fuel prices. Transport costs to the Kingdom United, moreover, they continued to be affected by Brexit for the higher incidence of empty returns. In real terms, i.e. valued in relation to the price indices of exported goods, or imported, average road costs per tonne remained almost unchanged.

As regards rail transport, the nominal average costs of the rail transport has remained substantially stable on exports, while those on imports have decreased; the decline concerned the bulk sector - whose role as an alternative the road has faded with the loss of the restrictions related to the containment of the pandemic - while that containers recorded a moderate increase in average costs. Among the geographical areas, there were increases in comparisons Central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula; freight to/from Eastern Europe, the Balkan economies and the Alpine countries are instead decreased. In real terms the average rail costs are dropped, remaining at levels slightly above the recorded minimum in 2012.

For air transport, the report highlights that after the exceptional price increases recorded in 2020 as a result of the strong restriction of the supply of hold linked to the pandemic, last year year the costs of this mode of transport have remained on high levels due to only partial recovery of flights of line; in nominal terms the average import prices were kept stationary, those on export grew by 7%. However, the trend was very heterogeneous between the routes: freight to China has increased by more than 90%, compared to a reduction of more than 20% for flows to/from Europe. Also in real terms, average costs remained at the maximum levels of last twenty years.

With regard to maritime transport, and specifically to container transport by sea, the analysis of the Bank of Italy explains that in 2021 the freight rates detected in the survey - in dollars for teu and net of ancillary services - recorded increases of exceptional magnitude. They are in fact more than doubled on export - with those related to the flow with the North America, the most relevant, increased by about 180% - and more than tripled on imports, in particular in routes with China, the others
Asian countries and South America. As in 2020 - specifies the ratio - in addition to the high concentration between shipowners, there have mainly contributed to supply-side limitations (between such as the difficulty in finding containers and the congestion in ports), geographical imbalances in demand for load and, to a lesser extent, the containment measures of the pandemic. Since the other cost factors (services auxiliaries) have undergone much smaller variations, the total freight in euro/tonne marked increases of smaller but still high (48% export and 116% on imports) and such as to push costs, in terms of real and nominal, above all-time highs.

In relation to the maritime bulk transport sector liquid and solid, the report specifies that in the average of 2021 the prices for the transport of solid bulk have increased by a considerable extent marked both for grains and, above all, for the sector of coal and minerals, in relation to the strong economic recovery worldwide and the consequent demand for raw materials; More freight pressures have come from congestion incidents port as well as the strong polarization of demand in the China - Southeast Asia area. On the other hand, costs have decreased averages for the transport of oil and derivatives, which have been affected oversupply of hold; those for the handling of chemicals (which include liquefied natural gas) are remained almost stable. In real terms the average costs bulk vessels (including ancillary services) to the related import to solid loads remain at high levels, although still below the all-time highs recorded in 2008; those relating to liquid bulks have fallen towards the average level of the last twenty years.

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