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Transport prices dropped by 6.8% in Q1 2016 compared to Q4 2015 in Europe, according to a report by CapGemini and Transporeon.

Main highlights of the Transport Marketing Monitor report are:
  • The price index decreased by 6.8% in Q1 2016 (index 91.5). Compared to the index level of the previous year, Q1 2015 the price index dropped by 3.2%.
  • In Q1 2016, the capacity index increased to 110.7 (25.0%), the highest value since Q1 2014 (index 114.4). 
  • The diesel index dropped to the lowest value since its measurements began in January 2008: an index of 59.1. The index is 22.7% lower than Q1 2015. 
Erik van Dort, supply chain director at Capgemini notes: “The Q1 figures are pretty much in line with what we normally see. Most remarkable is that although there was plenty of capacity and the diesel index is on an all time low, the carriers managed to get a decent price for their services.”

Peter Förster, Managing Director of Transporeon, added: “A price index of 91.5 and capacity index of 110.7 are typical for the first quarter of a year. Similar values were also reached in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In the first quarter of 2015, a tendency toward high capacities and low prices was also noted, but with smaller fluctuation. Here, the shortened weeks before and after Easter already demonstrated their effect in Q1. Even if the capacities fall and the prices rise again for Q2 due to the season, we assume that this effect will be lessened this year.”

The Transport Market Monitor by Transporeon and Capgemini Consulting is a quarterly publication that aims to track transport market dynamics.

It aims to provide insights in the development of transport prices, and other transport market dynamics to logistics executives and other interest groups.

Tevva Motors’ prototype development vehicles have just achieved a combined total distance of 27,000 miles, a landmark achievement for the next generation electric, range extended commercial vehicle.

The distance – which is greater than the Earth’s equator – has been covered in less than six months by three prototype vehicles built by the Essex (UK)-based technology pioneer.

Each vehicle has Tevva’s next-generation electric range extender powertrain, capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%*, compared to an average 7.5 tonne diesel engine truck.

The innovative powertrain, which is now available to order, can be fitted on the production line during the build process or fitted as a retrofit package to an existing vehicle. Both solutions are being tested during the development process, with Tevva’s two test vehicles – ‘JAC1’ and ‘JAC2’ – based on the JAC N-Series chassis, and a retrofitted Mercedes-Benz Vario in daily operation with logistics giant UPS.

The retrofit package provides operators the option to give existing vehicles an additional life while reducing emissions and running costs. Regardless of application, the electric range extender powertrain utilises Tevva’s patented Predictive Range Extender Management System (PREMS), which ensures the full potential of both fuel sources is exploited.

All three vehicles have been pushed to their limits and beyond at the Millbrook Proving Ground but have also been put through their paces on UK roads, travelling the length and breadth of the country, as well as in daily operations with UPS. Each has performed outstandingly over the last six months, with the reliability of the trio enabling a greater distance to be covered than expected. This also enabled the development team to really put PREMS to the test, developing the software as well as the powertrain technology.

The UPS vehicle also continues to impress, being driven and managed using the same methods and routines as the rest of the UPS delivery fleet.

The analysis found that the value of completed M&A transactions in 2016 will pass the 2015 mark, which rose for the third consecutive year, to a total of £48 billion. Further transactions worth approximately £66 billion were announced, hitting a record level of M&A activity in the sector in 2015.

The upcoming year will remain active in terms of investments with three main trends identified as drivers, according to KPMG:
1) ASPAC will continue to attract investments as a source of new growth
ASPAC targeted acquisitions contributed to 55% of announced transaction values in 2015, and we expect this trend to continue reflecting underlying demographics, and the search for new markets. Landmark transactions announced in 2015 included: the operating concession for Kansai and Osaka Airports valued at £11.7bn; the acquisition of Australian rail and port operator Asciano for £4.3bn; and Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines acquisition by CMA CGM for £1.4bn.

2) Asset-heavy and asset-light business model convergence in Freight & Logistics
The total value of completed Freight & Logistics M&A transactions have more than quadrupled from £7.2bn in 2013 to £31.4bn in 2015, and further transactions worth approximately £33.2n were announced during the year.

Asset-light logistics operators with advanced IT systems have, in recent years, been popular acquisition targets for large logistics providers and freight forwarders. However, we increasingly see that that “leaner” logisticians are looking for assets and (reliable) networks to supplement their services. Examples include the acquisition of US logistics company Coyote Logistics (high-tech / asset-light business model) by UPS worth £1.2bn, and the takeover of the French forwarder Norbert Dentressangle by XPO Logistics for £1.8bn.

Following the £3.3bn acquisition of TOLL Logistics by Japan Post in 2015 (which will transform the business model of the postal service operator towards a full-service logistics provider); the anticipated completion of the FedEx TNT deal (£3.1bn) will set the basis for another big year in M&A.

3) Alliancing and partnership models will continue to evolve where M&A can’t
M&A activity in the airline sector remained relatively low in 2015 (at £3.1 billion completed transactions) which is primarily because of restrictions imposed by foreign ownership restrictions and regulation. In the meantime, airlines will continue to evolve their business models and levels of co-operation towards alliancing and partnership to optimise their network, provide increase passenger choice, and pursue growth. Examples of new alliances in 2016 include the JV between Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, and the alliance between IAG and LATAM.

James Stamp, UK head of transport at KPMG said: “We expect investment activities in the transport and logistics sector to remain high driven by the search for growth; changes in demographics and supply chain; evolution of business models; increased focus on customer proposition, and changes to the regulatory environment.

“With interest rates remaining low, returns on asset acquisitions remain attractive. We expect that further investments this year will see transactions to significantly exceed £52bn on the basis of announced transactions alone.”

Note: All figures quoted are translated from USD into GBP using an average exchange rate for 2015.