Article: 2021/22 Competition figures
DB's annual competition report discusses competition-related developments in the transport markets in Germany and the rest of Europe and highlights environmental and climate-related data. Some key points from the report are summarised below:
- Long-term trend toward environmentally friendly rail
German passenger transport volume in 2022 is expected to increase by 10% year on year. Transport volume for rail on the whole is expected to see above average growth of around 45%. The expansion of long-distance passenger rail services has contributed to this growth. In addition, airlines are reducing their domestic connections in Germany, which has benefited the railways. The upward trend in regional and local rail passenger transport was also bolstered by the boom in demand resulting from the 9-Euro-Ticket.
- Covid remained the strongest factor of influence on passenger transport in 2021
In 2021, the pandemic also had the strongest impact on demand for German passenger transport. When restrictive measures were in place to contain the pandemic, demand fell significantly. When restrictions were relaxed, it rose noticeably. Overall, transport volume increased by 5% in 2021. Due to the need for social distancing, private motorised transport increased its market share again, to 89.2%, compared with 88.6% in 2020 and 83.3% in 2019. In contrast, public transport lost market share. The market share of public road transport fell to 4.5%, compared with 4.8% in 2020 and 6.5% in 2019; the market share of German domestic air transport fell to 0.2%, compared with 0.3% in 2020 and 0.9% in 2019. Rail's market share fell to 6.1%, down from 6.3% in 2020 and 9.3% in 2019.
- Rail freight transport saw 8% growth
Freight transport volume in Germany rose again in 2021 to 700 billion tonne-kilometres, just above pre-pandemic levels. Rail freight transport volume grew at an above-average rate of 8.3%, for a market share of 18.6%, up from 17.9% in 2020. Road haulage lost market share, falling to 72.3%, down from 72.7% in 2020. In 2022, we expect a slight increase of 0.5% in transport volume for rail and a slight loss of 0.5% for truck transport.
- Demand for train paths in the German network continues to rise
Railways in the DB network increased their operating performance by 4% in 2021. Year-on-year growth was 2.7% in the first half of 2022. This was around 20 million train-path kilometres more than in the first half of 2019. Long-distance passenger transport and rail freight were the main drivers of this growth. DB's competitors increased their share of total operating performance in DB's network to 37.4% in 2021, from 36.2% in 2020.
- High electricity prices jeopardise the modal shift
Germany wants to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045, and the EU wants to become the first climate-neutral economic area by 2050. Shifting traffic to the railways is an essential component of reaching these targets. Following the pandemic, rail now faces an additional disadvantage in the competition with other modes due to the sharp rise in energy prices. The price increases for electricity are many times higher than for diesel, which puts electric rail transport in particular at a disadvantage and jeopardises the modal shift. In Germany, the transport sector as a whole is at risk of missing its sector CO2 reduction targets again this year, as it did in 2021.