Transport sector: the growth of economic rates demonstrates strong competitiveness of the sector


2017 03 21


According to the preliminary statistical data, all the key rates of the Lithuanian sector of transport and logistics were rising in the course of 2016. The gross domestic product (GDP), created in the sector, revenues of companies, the number of staff as well as export of transport services went up compared to the year 2015. According to the economists, these rates prove the sector to be highly competitive.

The progress achieved by the country in the logistics sector was shown by the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) announced by the World Bank in 2016. Lithuania moved from 46th position up to 29th, leaving Estonia, Latvia, and Poland behind.

If compared with 2015, one per cent more freight (114.8 million t, in total) was transported last year, in the country. Most of the freight (60.4 million t) was carried by road (3 per cent more than in 2015). Revenues of road transport companies increased by 14.2 per cent, the number of employees went up by 7.7 per cent. Lithuanian carriers' investments into the fleet modernisation brought positive results; it enabled extension of the range of services provided in Western Europe.

Railway transport traditionally comes second by the volume of freight transported. JSC Lithuanian Railways transported 47.65 million t freight (0.8 per cent less than in 2015) in 2016. Domestic transportation volumes were growing, however transit freight flows dropped down. This trend is likely to remain, as the increasing number of freight of Russia is transported through Russian seaports, avoiding transit through the Baltic States.

In 2016, Klaipėda State Seaport broke the record in stevedoring – 40.14 million t freight was loaded in the seaport during the year (4.2 per cent more than in 2015). It is the only seaport in the Baltic States that managed to improve its yearly performance. The diversity of cargoes handled at the seaport gave advantages to Lithuania: the loading volumes of containers, Ro-Ro cargoes, oil products and compressed natural gas (CNG) experienced the biggest growth.

The record in the number of passengers was achieved by the Lithuanian airports in 2016 (14 per cent more than in 2015). Volumes of cargoes transported by air dropped down to 11.7 thousand t (10 per cent less than in 2015).

When analysing the transport markets, it is to be noted that export to European Union Member States continues growing rapidly, export to Russia and Belarus is stabilising. In January–September 2016, export of transport services to France and United Kingdom experienced the biggest growth (41 per cent), followed by export to Italy (32 per cent) and Austria (31 per cent). Germany remains the most important market of all EU Member States (8.2 per cent growth).