Amsterdam, 4 juli 2017 – Snelle technologische ontwikkelingen veranderen de toekomst van de transportsector, en bieden de beste investeringsmogelijkheden. Dit blijkt uit ‘The way ahead’, het onderzoek van wereldwijd advocatenkantoor Norton Rose Fulbright dat voor het achtste jaar in de transportsector is gehouden.
Berend Crans, partner Transport bij Norton Rose Fulbright: “Azië is nog steeds een zeer gewilde regio om te investeren in luchtvaart, scheepvaart en logistiek. Investeringen in de spoorwegen zijn voornamelijk in trek in Europa. Het sentiment in de sector is positief en het is goed te zien dat respondenten in de scheepvaart positiever zijn dan voorgaande jaren”.
Een vijfde van de respondenten ziet nieuwe technologieën als de beste investeringskans, nog beter dan investeringen in de verbetering van infrastructuur. 43% van de respondenten voorspelt dat big data en de analyse daarvan de significante drijfveren voor verandering zijn in de sector. Met de groeiende digitalisering verwacht 82% van de respondenten een toename van cyberaanvallen in de komende vijf jaar.
Terwijl 52% van de respondenten verwacht dat er betere financieringsmogelijkheden zijn voor projecten voor verbetering van de spoorwegen, deelt slechts 22% deze mening binnen lucht- en scheepvaart en slechts 19% binnen de logistiek.
De impact van wereldwijde politieke onzekerheid (29%) en wereldwijde recessie (22%) worden gezien als de grootste bedreigingen voor de sector de aankomende vijf jaar.
Over dit onderzoek
Het onderzoek binnen de transportsector voor het rapport “The way ahead” wordt jaarlijks uitgevoerd door Norton Rose Fulbright. Het onderzoek wordt dit jaar voor de 8e keer uitgevoerd. De analyse van het rapport is gebaseerd op interviews onder 196 respondenten van verschillende bedrijven die betrokken zijn bij luchtvaart, spoor, scheepvaart en wereldwijde logistiek, waaronder financiers, eigenaren / exploitanten, fabrikanten, overheidsinstanties en professionele dienstverleners, die in april 2017 zijn ondervraagd.
Onderstaand een toelichting in het Engels op de onderzoeksresultaten en meer informatie per sector.
Sentiment is overwhelmingly positive in the aviation industry, with 90 percent of respondents reporting that current market conditions are favourable for their industry.
Respondents appear divided when asked what they view as the optimal investment opportunity for the sector. While 25 percent point to the development of new markets, both geographical and sectoral, 17 percent point to the purchase or leasing of aircraft, favouring new rather than used aircraft, and narrow-body rather than wide-body or regional aircraft. A further 17 percent highlight infrastructure improvements.
57% of respondents believe that increased airport capacity in emerging markets and at existing airports is the infrastructure investment that would benefit their industry the most over the next five years. 28% prefer to focus investment on air traffic control.
Unlike the rail, shipping and logistics industries, respondents’ enthusiasm for investment in new technology is more muted – just 5 percent believe that this is the optimal investment currently, compared with 20 percent of all respondents.
China offers the best investment opportunities over the next two to five years, according to 24 percent. India and the US are also popular markets for aviation investment, according to 16 percent and 11 percent respectively, with India overtaking the US in the past year. Regionally, Asia is the most popular investment market, favoured by 55 percent.
Despite the limited interest in investment in new technology generally, big data and predictive analytics finds enthusiastic supporters amongst respondents from the aviation industry
The ability to anticipate passengers’ behaviour, as well as maintenance issues and repairs, will be the biggest driver of change in the aviation industry over the next five years according to 47 percent, and is likely to give the operators who adopt this technology a clear competitive advantage.
When asked which regulation has had the greatest impact on the aviation industry over the past decade, 30 percent pointed to an uncoordinated approach to aviation regulation globally, while 15 percent cite the regulation of competition and barriers to entry, and 13 percent mentioned fragmented and bilateral air service agreements.
Negotiating coordinated air service agreements comes top of the aviation industry’s wish list for government support. 25 percent believe that Open Skies agreements would be the most helpful form of government support for the aviation industry, followed by 18 percent who would like to see the removal of barriers to foreign investment – both key concerns for airlines with operations in Europe following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. 16 percent would like passenger and fuel taxes to be lowered.
29 percent of respondents anticipate that capital markets will be a key source of funding over the next two years, followed by 25 percent who point to operating leases (which free up airline capital), and 24 percent who point to bank debt. Respondents are broadly satisfied that finance will remain available to the aviation industry – 65 percent believe that access to funding will remain at the same level over the next five years, while 22 percent believe that funding will become increasingly available.
86 percent believe that current market conditions are favourable for their industry, down marginally from 92 percent in 2016. The continued confidence of respondents from the rail industry is attributed to growing urban populations creating increased demand for rail transport, cited by 40 percent.
Improved conditions in key markets is highlighted by 16 percent and the availability of funding for investment and the emergence of new market opportunities are both cited by 12 percent. 52 percent of respondents from the rail industry believe finance will be increasingly available over the next five years.
Half of respondents from the rail industry believe that integration with other forms of transport to develop Transport or Mobility as a Service, creating and managing journeys using a mix of public and private means of transport, including the “last mile” leg from the station to destination and paid for with a single account, would be more beneficial than increased capacity on existing lines and the development of high speed lines.
In common with respondents from the shipping and logistics industries, rail respondents expect big data to be the technology most likely to transform the rail industry over the next five years. 38 percent believe that the ability to anticipate passenger behaviour and predict repairs and maintenance issues via the adoption of big data and predictive analytics will be the biggest catalyst for change, followed by 21 percent who point to the increased automation of rolling stock, and 17 percent who point to. Software supporting Transport as a Service.
When asked what poses the greatest challenge to the operational efficiency of the rail industry, 31 percent point to inadequate infrastructure, while 17 percent express unease about a lack of suitably qualified people.
Regulation remains a concern for the rail industry. Aside from infrastructure investment, respondents believe that the government support most helpful to the industry would be deregulation and greater transparency as to the introduction of proposed regulation and in the application and enforcement of new regulation, both highlighted by 24 percent.
The regulation respondents would most like governments to address is the regulation of competition and barriers to entry. This is the regulation that has had the greatest impact on the rail industry over the past decade, according to 39 percent.
Confidence in the shipping industry appears to be improving. This year, 37 percent report that current market conditions are positive for the shipping industry, compared with 15 percent in 2016, 33 percent in 2015, and 69 percent in 2014. Asia Pacific is the region thought to offer the best investment opportunities overall, by 45 percent.
Aside from fuel efficient and low carbon technology, big data and predictive analytics is expected to be the most significant driver of change in the shipping industry over the next five years, according to 46 percent, while 19 percent believe that software supporting Transport as a Service, which allows for the development of tailored end-to-end supply chains, has the greatest potential to transform the industry.
The problem of overcapacity has been an enduring theme – 65 percent of the 63 percent who do not consider current conditions to be positive blame overcapacity. In fact, 35 percent of all respondents from the shipping industry believe that supply and demand imbalances pose the greatest challenge to the operational efficiency of the shipping industry, although this is down from 47 percent in 2016.
Of the 37 percent who believe current conditions are positive, 36 percent cite improved economic conditions, while 19 percent report that overcapacity issues have been largely resolved. Continued lower oil prices are also assisting the industry, according to 16 percent.
Just 22 percent believe that the availability of funds will increase, while 41 percent fear that funding will become more unobtainable, a considerably higher proportion than respondents from the aviation, rail or logistics industries. In addition, respondents are expecting lenders to take a tougher stance on problem loans, with 54 percent anticipating that enforcement actions will increase between now and 2022.
While funding is forecast to become more difficult to access, bank debt is expected to remain the industry’s primary source of funding, according to 23 percent, followed by private equity and shareholders, selected by 15 percent and 14 percent respectively.
Greater transparency as to the introduction of proposed regulation and in the application and enforcement of new regulation is seen as the most helpful form of government support for the industry, by 55 percent. A further 29 percent would favour deregulation, followed by 18 percent who favour fiscal incentives and a further 18 percent who call for the removal of barriers to foreign investment.
When asked which regulation has had the greatest impact on the shipping industry over the past decade, 43 percent pointed to increased environmental regulation, followed by 18 percent who highlight the impact of trade and financial sanctions, and 12 percent who point to fragmented global regulation.