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02/12/2014
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French Road Goods Transport (RGT): between economic difficulties and structural problems…

French Road Goods Transport (RGT): between economic difficulties and structural problems…

In this Panorama, you will find the Coface barometer which reviews French insolvencies in 2013. With 63 452 insolvencies (+5.3% compared to 2012), we have reached the 2009 record level, as 63 204 businesses failed at the peak of the crisis. The financial cost of these insolvencies (4.82 billion euros) also exceeds the 2009 level (4.7 billion euros).

 

A sector by sector analysis shows that risks related to retail, services to individuals, electronics and IT-telecoms worsened more or less strongly in 2013. Only chemicals improved, with a 3.3% fall in insolvencies.

 

We then focus on the French Road Goods Transport (RGT), a key sector of the French economy. Despite specific improvements since 2008, it turns out that RGT cannot get out of stagnation. Why? Where are the bottle-necks? Are they cyclical or structural or both? We try to answer all these questions and will conclude by setting out ways, drawn from the experience of other European countries, to exit from the crisis.

 

Insolvencies Barometer (2013 report)

2013 was characterised by significant rise in the number of company insolvencies (+5.3%). SME’s are particularly affected (+8.2%).
The financial cost exceeds the 2009 record level (4.82bn, +10.4%).

 

French Road Goods Transport: between economic difficulties and structural problems 

If there is one sector that has been hit by the decline in activity associated with France’s “double dip” recession, it is the road goods transport sector. Despite improvements from time to time since 2008, the sector has not been able to find its way out of this slump. Several factors may explain this downturn. Compe-tition from Eastern European carriers would appear to offer a ready-made culprit for the sector’s performance issues. It is the case that these operators have indubitable competitive advantages, which put our carriers under considerable pressure. Nonetheless, a careful study of the situation leads us to other answers, which could well explain the decline of this sector. In truth, we can learn from the experience of our neighbours.

We will first analyse the current state of the sector and then try to identify, in part two, the real reasons for the poor performance. We will then end by showing that there are some ways out, taking inspiration from our neighbours’ experience.

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