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Customer Relations:

Current Market Situation in the Transport Sector/Availability of Loading

Dear Sirs and Madams,,

The European transport market is currently undergoing a change, as a result of various factors. These causes have ultimately had an effect on the available loading space within Germany and Europe and this has therefore influenced our business relations.

Earlier this year and the remaining holiday weeks, we have recorded a deficit of available loading space (too many loadings in relation to the available loading capacity). The tense loading room situation did not resolve itself after the national holidays, instead it remained. As a result of the experiences over the past years, we were facing in the months of July and August (together with the preceding months) an average loading increase in relation to the capacity. However, during these months, hardly any reduction in the tension of this situation was realised. The prevailing scarcity out of the previous months was further confirmed; concurrently significantly increased costs for the loading room in the current market were observed. We are still facing this situation today and it is anticipated that there will not be any short-term underlying changes.

What are the Causes for this Development?
Along with the general shortfall of specialist personnel, the logistics and transport branch is suffering from a severe shortage of professional drivers. Many of the smaller German haulage companies were unable to bear the cost pressures of foreign competitors. This resulted in the said businesses collapsing due to a lack of haulage drivers.

Furthermore, the largest European haulage fleets are largely stationed in eastern Europe and are transporting goods to western Europe from their location. Our neighbour states located to the east have demonstrated noticeable business growth, which leads to these haulage fleets being deployed from their home country because a large demand of loading space exists in these foresaid locations. Concurrently, legislative restrictions were implemented with regard to week rest periods of drivers (under current laws, drivers are not allowed to spend their week evenings in their lorries), causing haulage firms to source accommodation and hotels when the drivers would be forced to spend their weekend in Germany, Belgium or France. This is a further reason why businesses would focus on the homeland market because further costs would be reduced.

The current strong German economic development has contributed to the strongly increased demand for loading space. Not to neglect is the productivity loss on the roads: the traffic conditions on the roads (queues, roadworks, bridge-height-restrictions) result in lorries requiring more time to reach their respective destinations. Consequently per week less journeys can be undertaken. In the above-annotated observation, an objective portrayal of the transport market has been depicted. Specialist media (DVZ-a German logistics magazine and transport reviews) report a shift in this logistics branch.

What NOSTA is doing to counteract the development?
At NOSTA, in March, before the working week legislation was introduced, we have already implemented measures. Firstly, the NOSTA fleet was expanded. Furthermore, lorries will not only be sourced from NOSTA but solid business partners were added, so that our fleet has been constantly growing since March. Additionally, the expansion of the partnership network will be focussed. Alongside the currently existing partners, additional business partners will be spoken with, so the network and the existing loading space will be secured.

An estimate of the aforementioned companies in the logistic branch said that a short-term easing of the market cannot be presumed. Alongside the above-mentioned measures, we believe a close working relationship of all parties is necessary to ensure collectively and cooperatively these challenges can be overcome. We would like to thank you for your attention and we are willing at any time to respond promptly to any further queries or questions you may have.

Yours sincerely,

Sven Hornig
-Head of Sales -

Christian Hammacher
- Haulage Director -