6. Companies, employment, personnel costs and gross operating rate

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• In 2017, 5,600 IWW goods transport companies employing 23,291 persons were active in Europe, which was slightly less than in the previous year. 88.5% of those companies were registered in Rhine countries, representing 73% of all persons employed in Europe.

• In the same year, 4,000 IWW passenger transport companies in Europe employed 21,581 persons, which is around 800 more than in the previous year. 43% of those companies were registered in Rhine countries, representing 63% of all persons employed in Europe.

• The highest net turnover in IWW goods transport is in the Netherlands, and for IWW passenger transport it is in Switzerland. In both sectors, turnover is generally much lower in Danube countries due to a lower share in transport performance and a lower wage and price level.

 

COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN GOODS TRANSPORT

 

    FIGURE 1: NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
    *Data for 2017

     

  • According to Eurostat, in 2017 (The year 2017 was the most recent year for Eurostat statistics on companies) 5,600 IWW freight transport companies were active in Europe (EU plus Serbia and Switzerland), compared to 5,669 the previous year. Of these, 88.5% were registered in Rhine countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland). The countries with the highest number of companies are four Rhine countries and Poland, which together account for 92% of all companies in Europe.
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    FIGURE 2: NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
    No data for Belgium for 2013.

     

  • The number of employed persons included the self-employed, helping family members and employees. The total number of this variable stood at 23,291 in 2017 compared to 23,666 in 2016 (It should be noted that figures obtained from national institutions are often higher than the figures obtained from Eurostat. This particularly applies to the case of Belgium. While Eurostat gives about 700 persons employed in 2017 in IWW goods and passenger transport, the two social security organisations ONSS (employees) and INASTI (self-employed) report 1,933 persons. However, for cross-country comparisons Eurostat is treated as the preferred source because data are harmonised across countries and are thus comparable). Of these employed persons 73% were working for companies in Rhine countries, 17% for companies in Danube countries and 10% for companies in countries outside the Rhine and Danube regions.
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    FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
    *Data for 2017

     

  • The countries with the largest employment in IWW goods transport are the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, France, Serbia and Poland. Employment in these countries accounted for 83% of all employment in IWW freight transport in 2017.
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    FIGURE 4: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
    *For France, the values for 2013-2015 are estimated due to missing data. For Poland, data are missing for 2010 and 2011 and for Serbia data are missing for 2009-2015.

     

  • If the number of freight companies in 2017 is compared to 2012, a decrease can be observed for Europe as a whole and for large IWW countries such as the Netherlands and France. The decrease in these two countries outweighed the increase in other countries.
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    FIGURE 5: DIFFERENCE IN THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN 2017 COMPARED TO 2012


    Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]

 
 
 

COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT

  • IWW passenger companies in Europe are active in different segments: river cruises, day trip navigation on rivers, canals and lakes. The ferry transport of passengers is also part of the sector. The first position of Italy is due both to the country’s large number of lakes and the canal boats in Venice. The Netherlands have many day trip vessels, ferries on rivers as well as large and small cruise vessels.
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    FIGURE 6: NUMBER OF IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT COMPANIES IN EUROPE*



    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
    *Data for 2017

     

  • The evolution of the total number of European passenger transport companies has followed an upward trend since 2009. There are currently 4,000 companies active in this field of which 74.4% are found in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and France.
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    FIGURE 7: EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT COMPANIES IN EUROPE*


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH), CBS (NL)
    *No data for France for 2009.

     

  • Germany is in the leading position regarding employment in passenger transport with more than 6,000 persons employed. The Netherlands follow with more than 3,000 persons, and afterwards Italy, Switzerland and France each have between 2,000 and 2,500 persons employed.
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    FIGURE 8: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Bundesamt für Statistik (CH)
    *Data for 2017

     

  • The total number of persons employed in European IWW passenger transport amounts to 21,581 and is therefore slightly below the employment figures in freight transport. Around 82% of all persons employed in EU inland waterway passenger transport are employed in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, France and Sweden.
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    FIGURE 9: EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Bundesamt für Statistik (CH)
    *No data for France for 2009, no data for Switzerland for 2009 and 2010. Values for EU include Switzerland.

     

  • In almost all European countries the number of companies in IWW passenger transport has increased since 2012. The strongest increase took place in the largest IWW passenger transport countries and in Poland.
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    FIGURE 10: DIFFERENCE IN THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN 2017 COMPARED TO 2012



    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
     
     
     

    TURNOVER, OPERATING RATE, PERSONNEL COSTS PER EMPLOYEE

     
    Turnover and operating rate in IWW freight transport

    • Although Danube countries have a share of 18% in transport performance, their share in EU turnover is much lower, due to a lower wage and price level.
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      FIGURES 11 AND 12: ANNUAL NET TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT (IN MIO. €)



      Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], CBS (NL), CCNR analysis
       

    • The share of the operating result (profit) in net turnover gives the operating rate, which is an indicator for profitability. For the Netherlands, this indicator was calculated based on CBS data. For other countries, the Eurostat database SBS offers figures, but unfortunately not for all countries and years.
    • The Dutch freight sector reached an operating rate of 20% in 2015 and 2016, 17% in 2017, and 16% in 2018. The operating rate curves for Germany and France lie below the Dutch curve. Hungary had a negative operating rate until 2015. This means that, on average, the freight business activity generated losses for Hungarian companies between 2011 and 2015. In 2016 and 2017, the operating rate in Hungary was slightly positive.
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      FIGURES 13 AND 14: RATIO OF OPERATING RESULT AND TURNOVER – OPERATING RATE – IN FREIGHT TRANSPORT (IN %)



      Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], CBS, CCNR analysis
      The data for the Netherlands were calculated by dividing the operating result for freight and passenger transport by the net turnover in freight and passenger transport. However, CBS estimates that 92% of turnover in Dutch IWT is generated by freight transport and 8% by passenger transport. A split between freight and passenger operating result data is not available for the Netherlands.

       
       

    Turnover and operating rate in IWW passenger transport

    • For passenger transport, Switzerland has the highest turnover in Europe followed by Germany, Italy and France. Data for Switzerland were taken from the Swiss Tax Administration database, which produces turnover and other financial data for all economic sectors in Switzerland (via the information on the added value tax paid in each sector). Data for other European countries were taken from the Eurostat database on Structural Business Statistics (SBS).
    • From 2013/2014 onwards, turnover increased strongly in Switzerland, but also for German, Italian and British companies. There is a strong correlation with the demand in river cruises, which also had a take-off phase during these years (see chapter on river cruises, figure on number of passengers). The fact that companies in the United Kingdom show a sharply rising turnover is also reflected by the growing presence of British tour operator companies in the river cruise industry.
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      FIGURES 15 AND 16: ANNUAL NET TURNOVER IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT (IN MIO. €)



      Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH), analysis CCNR
       

    • In German passenger transport the operating rate increased strongly from 2013 onwards and attained 30% in 2017.

     
    Personnel costs per employee

    • Danube countries are clearly the countries with the lowest personnel costs per employee, due to a lower wage and price level compared to western Europe. France and Sweden have the highest personnel costs per employee.
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      FIGURE 17: AVERAGE ANNUAL PERSONNEL COSTS PER EMPLOYEE IN IWW TRANSPORT* (IN 1,000 € / EMPLOYEE, 2017)


      Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], CBS, CCNR analysis
      *For the Netherlands, the value represents personnel costs per employee in freight and passenger transport taken together, but freight transport has a 92% share in overall financial activity. The data on personnel costs have been taken from the national statistical office CBS, as Eurostat does not publish data on this indicator for the Netherlands. A split of personnel costs between freight and passenger transport is not available in the CBS data.
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