• In 2016, there were 5,753 IWW goods transport companies in Europe. Almost 90% of them were registered in Rhine countries. These countries accounted for 74% of the 22,087 employees active in IWW goods transport in 2017, and the Danube countries for 13%.

•There are 4,000 IWW passenger transport companies in Europe, and 18,645 employees. 44% of the European IWW passenger companies are registered in Rhine countries. Regarding employment, the share of Rhine countries is even higher: 63% of all employees in IWW passenger transport are employed in companies in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (data for Switzerland are missing).

•The age structure of persons active in goods and passenger transport taken together is currently dominated by persons aged between 25 and 55. They have a share of 58% in Germany and 61% in Belgium. The share of persons younger than 25 is 10% in Germany and 5% in Belgium.

 

GOODS TRANSPORT COMPANIES

 

NUMBER OF IWT COMPANIES IN GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*

Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
* Data for 2016

 

  • In 2016 (The year 2016 was the most recent year for Eurostat statistics on companies) there were 5,753 IWW goods transport companies in Europe (EU plus Switzerland), of which 87.5% were registered in Rhine countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland).
  • The evolution of the total number of European goods transport companies followed a slight downward orientation in recent years. The number of companies has also been falling slightly in the Netherlands since the year 2010.

 

NUMBER OF IWT COMPANIES IN GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)

 

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWT GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*

Source : Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
* Data for 2017

 

  • The number of employees (persons working in the IWW sector) in IWW goods transport was 22,087 in 2017, and 74% of these employees were working for companies in Rhine countries. The Danube countries account for 13% of all employees.

 

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWT GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]

 

  • If the number of employees in goods transport in 2017 are compared with the numbers in the previous five years (in 2012), a decrease can be observed for Europe as a whole, and also for large IWW countries such as the Netherlands, Romania, France and Bulgaria. Very few countries had more employees in IWW goods transport in 2017 than in 2012 (Germany, Poland, Italy, Switzerland and some smaller ones).

 

DIFFERENCE IN THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN 2017 COMPARED TO 2012

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]

 

  • When analysing the decrease in employees in the Netherlands, it is necessary to take into account that the majority of Dutch IWW companies are very small, with only one or two employees. The decline in the number of active persons mirrors the decrease in the Dutch companies in the same time period.
  • The reasons for this evolution can be due to problems of companies’ successions in small single vessel owner companies, but also due to specific economic problems which small companies are often facing (difficult access to external financing, high financial burden of necessary investments).

 

NUMBER OF IWT COMPANIES PER SIZE CLASS (NUMBER OF PERSONS IN THE COMPANY) IN THE NETHERLANDS IN Q1 2019

Source: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistik (Netherlands). Data refer to the situation in Q1 2019

 

Dry cargo transport

Liquid cargo transport

Push & Tug boat navigation

 

  • The share of the companies with only one person active is 41% in the Dutch dry cargo segment, 51% in tanker shipping, and 58% in the push & tug segment. The situation in the Netherlands is not exceptional when compared to many other countries. According to data for France (from INSEE), only 2% of all French IWW freight transport companies have 10 employees or more. For French passenger transport companies, this share is 10%.

 

Quarterly turnover development in goods transport

  • Despite an overall drop in goods transport in the Netherlands in 2018, turnover rose. The reason was the increase in freight rates, due to the low water levels (see chapter 5). Since 2012, the turnover in rail and road freight transport evolved more evenly than in maritime and inland waterway transport.

 

TURNOVER DEVELOPMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS IN GOODS TRANSPORT, PER MODE (INDEX 2015=100)

Source : Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS)

 

  • The turnover of the German IWW goods transport companies (see following figure) also increased due to rising transport prices in 2018. However, its level was still well below the turnover level of other transport modes.
  • Both in Germany and in the Netherlands, IWT turnover dropped strongly after Q4 2015, and remained on a lower level for some time afterwards. In Q4 2015, there was a low water period on the Rhine, resulting in a strong reduction of cargo traffic. Although transport prices increased over a short period of time (boosting turnover temporarily in Q4 2015), the years 2016 and 2017 saw a much lower average turnover level in both countries.

 

TURNOVER DEVELOPMENT IN GERMANY IN GOODS TRANSPORT, PER MODE (INDEX 2015=100)

Source : Destatis

 

 

PASSENGER TRANSPORT NUMBER OF COMPANIES, EMPLOYMENT AND TURNOVER EVOLUTION

 

  • The 4,000 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 to the many lakes in the country (see chapter on day trip vessels), and due to canal boats in Venice. The Netherlands and Germany have many day trip ferry vessels.

 

NUMBER OF IWW COMPANIES IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*

Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
* Data for 2016

 

  • The evolution of the total number of European passenger transport companies has followed an upward trend since the year 2013.

 

NUMBER OF IWW COMPANIES IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE

Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH), CBS (NL)

 

  • The number of employees in IWW passenger transport amounted to around 18,645 in 2016 and has increased in recent years. Three Rhine countries are in the top three positions (Germany, the Netherlands, France). These three countries are very active in river cruises, and in day trip navigation on rivers and canals.

 

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
* Data for 2016, no data for Switzerland

 

  • One part of the positive evolution in the number of companies and employees in passenger navigation since the year 2013 is the boom in river cruises that became more and more intense that year, mainly due to the arrival of large numbers of USAmerican tourists from overseas. In addition, passenger navigation is also increasing its economic indicators in countries where not many cruise vessels are registered.

 

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]

 

  • Almost all European countries have been able to increase their number of employees in passenger navigation since the year 2012. The strongest increase took place in countries where there were already many persons active in this market segment.

 

DIFFERENCE IN THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN 2016 COMPARED TO 2012 *

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
* No data for Switzerland

 

Quarterly turnover development in passenger transport

  • Quarterly turnover data for IWW passenger transport are available for Germany and France and are compared with data for other transport modes. A very high seasonality of inland waterway passenger transport can be observed, which is a clear feature of the sector, despite recent activities to extend the season to the winter period.

 

TURNOVER DEVELOPMENT IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN GERMANY PER MODE OF TRANSPORT (INDEX 2015 = 100)*

Source : Destatis
* Includes a linear trend for IWW passenger transport.

 

  • The overall trend of the turnover in IWW passenger transport is positive. For France, it has been noted that even the air passenger traffic has a more stagnant evolution than passenger transport on inland waterways.

 

TURNOVER DEVELOPMENT IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN FRANCE PER MODE OF TRANSPORT (INDEX 2015 = 100)*

Source : INSEE
* Includes a linear trend for IWW passenger transport.

 

 

GROSS OPERATING SURPLUS / TURNOVER RATIO

 

Definition and sources

  • The gross operating surplus (GOS) of a company or a sector is an indicator for the profitability. When calculating the GOS, only part of the total cost is deducted from the gross production value. The GOS thus corresponds to the gross production value minus the cost of intermediate products (goods and services) and less compensation of employees (personnel costs) (See: Eurostat, Statistics explained (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Glossary:Gross_operating_ surplus_(GOS)_-_NA/de)). Data for this ratio (in percentage terms) are available from the Eurostat database on structural business statistics [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] (The Eurostat database does not contain data for this variable for the Netherlands. However, the CBS has data for the total net operating surplus and the total amortization in the Dutch inland navigation industry. Therefore, it was possible to calculate the gross operating surplus for goods transport in the Netherlands by adding amortization to the net operating surplus. As the sum of these two variables gives the gross operating surplus, it can be compared correctly with the data for the other countries taken from the Eurostat database).

 

Data for European countries

  • From the following figure that shows the GOS / turnover ratio in goods transport, it is clear that this profitability indicator has similar values in the Belgian and Dutch sectors, which are higher than in German and French industries. This is explained by better natural conditions (infrastructure, water depths) for inland navigation in the ARA region compared to large parts of France and Germany. In addition, an increasing trend for the Rhine countries (including France and Germany), as well as quite mixed results for the other countries under study, can be observed.
  • Also, for the Danube countries, it is observed that the lower Danube countries (Romania, Bulgaria) show a more favourable value for the GOS / turnover ratio than the Middle Danube countries (Hungary, Slovakia). It can also be explained by the better natural conditions. Hungary, a country at the Middle Danube, even had a negative value until the year 2015.

 

GROSS OPERATING SURPLUS / TURNOVER RATIO IN THE IWW GOODS TRANSPORT SECTOR

Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and calculation CCNR based on CBS data

 

  • In passenger transport, the GOS / turnover ratio is higher than in goods transport for Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, but lower for France, and at about the same level for Italy.

 

GROSS OPERATING SURPLUS / TURNOVER RATIO IN THE IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT SECTOR

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]

 

  • Concerning France, its low profitability value is explained by relatively high personnel costs (see next figure).

 

AVERAGE ANNUAL PERSONNEL COSTS PER PERSON ACTIVE IN IWW TRANSPORT (IN 1,000 € / PERSON, 2016) *

Source : Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and CBS (NL)
* Data are rounded-up for visibility purposes. The value for the Netherlands concerns goods transport and passenger transport taken together, but goods transport has a share of 92%.

 

 

AGE STRUCTURE OF PERSONS ACTIVE IN INLAND NAVIGATION AND NUMBER OF APPRENTICES

 

  • The German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) disposes of a central database of nearly all persons working under a social security regime in Germany. Its databases can be analysed according to age classes of employees and the professions that these employees have learnt.
  • The following figure shows the percentage shares of four age classes for German persons with a profession in navigating an inland vessel (both goods and passenger transport).

 

AGE STRUCTURE OF PERSONS WITH THE PROFESSION ‘SKIPPER IN INLAND NAVIGATION’ IN GERMANY

Source: calculation CCNR based on Bundesagentur für Arbeit

 

  • In Belgium, the National Social Security Office ( ONSS in French, RSZ in Dutch) is the central body responsible for the collection, management and distribution of social security contributions for employees. The social contributions for self-employed workers in Belgium are collected and managed by the National Social Insurance Institute for the Self-Employed (INASTI in French, NISSE in Dutch).
  • In order for the Belgian data to be comparable with the German data, the data for the dependent and independent inland navigation Belgian workers have been added together, and the age structure was calculated for the total number of workers (as well as for the independent and the dependent separately) (The result shows quite strong differences between the independent and dependent workers. The share of people active who are over 65 years is 11% for the independent Belgian persons, compared to only 1% for those who are dependent. The share of persons younger than 25 years is 2% for the independent employees, but 8% for the dependent employees (all values for 2017/2018)).

 

AGE STRUCTURE OF PERSONS WITH THE PROFESSION ‘SKIPPER IN INLAND NAVIGATION’ IN BELGIUM

Source: calculation CCNR based on ONSS/RSZ and INASTI/NISSE

 

  • When comparing the results for Belgium and Germany, it is noticed that the share of persons younger than 25 years was 10% in Germany in 2018, compared to 5% in Belgium (2017). The share of persons who are older than 65 years is higher in Belgium than in Germany. [Even if only the Belgian workers who are dependent employees are taken into account, the share of the youngest age group is slightly lower (8% in 2018) than in Germany (10% in 2018)].
  • The differences between the two countries should also be seen from the viewpoint of market structure. Indeed, the type of independent vessel owner is more common in Belgium than in Germany. Therefore, the share of independent entrepreneurs is certainly higher in the Belgian sector than in the German sector. This explains to a certain extent the slight differences in the age structure in Belgium.
  • Finally, it can be observed that the rising trend in Germany for the number of companies and employees in passenger transport had an influence on the choice of apprentices regarding their field of job training. The figures in passenger transport increased in 2016, 2017 and 2018, while those for goods transport decreased.

 

NUMBER OF APPRENTICES IN THE GERMAN INLAND NAVIGATION SECTOR

Source: CCNR analysis based on data provided by Bundesagentur für Arbeit