Italy Road Freight Transport Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The road freight transport market in Italy is segmented by Type (International and Domestic), and by End User (Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying, Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry, Construction, Distributive Trade, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, and Other End Users)

Market Snapshot

Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: <1 %

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Market Overview

Road freight is the most preferred mode of transport in the country and accounts for more than 60% of the total goods transport. It accounts for more than 80% in the case of domestic freight transport. One of the key strengths of the Italian road freight industry is its geographic position. Out of nine transnational Corridors, four TEN-T networks cross Italy, making Italy an important freight hub. European Investment Bank and the Italian government are financing various projects aimed at increasing as well as maintaining the road connectivity in Italy and across Europe.

Despite the decreasing volumes over the years, the road freight volume in Italy has increased in 2018 by almost 4% with the total volume reaching 920.73 million tons. The sector has been able to maintain steady growth over the past few years and remains to be the preferred mode of transport. The main reason for this is the ability of the road transport sector to respond quickly to the needs of the Italian distribution system. Moreover, the sector has been moving towards reducing the environmental impact with the use of latest generation vehicles.

The Italian road haulage industry is experiencing a phase of profound transformation - the traditional single-vehicle companies decreasing in the market, while more structured companies, because of their size, are better able to seize the opportunities of modal integration and are able to better compete on national and international markets.

According to the industry sources, one of the key operating costs of the road freight transport companies in Italy is the cost of drivers’ wages. It slightly exceeds, on average EUR 55,000 per driver per year. Tolls also remain to be one of the biggest cost items and the high amounts are largely due to the very high cost of travelling through Switzerland and Austria to Germany and the main European ports. The toll budget of Italian transport companies is twice that of their French counterparts.

Scope of the Report

A complete background analysis of the Italian road freight transport market, which includes an assessment of the economy and contribution of sectors in the economy, market overview, market size estimation for key segments, and emerging trends in the market segments, market dynamics, and logistics spending by the end-user industries, is covered in the report. The report also covers the impact of COVID - 19 on the market.

By Destination
By End User
Manufacturing (Including Automotive)
Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying
Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry
Distributive Trade (wholesale and retail trade)
Pharmaceutical and Healthcare
Other End Users (Telecommunications, etc.)

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Key Market Trends

Export driven economy supporting growth in road freight transport

Italy has an export-oriented economy and is the 9th largest exporter and 11th largest importer worldwide, with trade making up nearly 60% of its GDP. Export remains one of the main driving factors of the Italian economy. It increased by 16.9% from 2008 to 2018, although the growth rate of the gross domestic product is still more than three percentage points lower than the pre-crisis levels.

The export of goods and services is a sector that is worth more than 30% of Italian gross domestic product and contributes to the positive balance of the trade balance of more than EUR 40 billion, which is more than 2% of its GDP.

The trade with EU remains to be key for the country, especially with Germany and France. Road is the primary mode of transportation for trading with countries within Europe. Apart from European countries, the trade with Asian countries is also growing. Moreover, with the Belt and Road Initiative, some companies are also launching new services for truck transport between China and Italy.

With exports being very important to economy, the government has been supporting digital evolution in exports, from the export processes of companies to the training of young people, from start-ups to small and medium-sized enterprises. According to an industrial survey, just more than 20% of companies use digital channels to export.


Domestic Road Freight Transport dominates the Italian Road Freight Transport Market

Italy is one of the top domestic road freight transport markets in Europe along with Germany, Spain, UK, France, and Poland. These six countries together take up more than 75% of Europe’s domestic road freight transport market (in terms of ton-km (excl. cabotage)).

The domestic freight transported by road in the country has increased in 2018 by ~4% in 2018, after continuous decline for many years. Majority of the domestic freight transport, more than 85% is outsourced to third party companies.

Lombardia region remains key for domestic road freight transport, around 20% of the total domestic freight originates from the region. Veneto and Emilia-Romagna are the next most important regions for domestic road freight transport.

Generally, much of cabotage is carried out by Central European drivers taking advantage of their lower costs in the domestic markets of Western Europe. Italy is among the top 5 Cabotage markets in Europe. However, the activity is less when compared to cabotage markets in Germany and France.

Italy receives almost 3 times more cabotage than it does. The cabotage business of Italian carrier have witnessed declines over the past few years. The main countries in which Italy carries out cabotage activities are Germany and France. More than 90% of cabotage activity of Italian carriers is in these countries.


Competitive Landscape

The road freight transport market is fragmented in nature with approximately 90,000 companies operating in the sector. This makes the sector highly competitive. Additionally, the sector also faces competition from road hauliers from Central and Eastern European countries with lower wages.

The majority of the sector is dominated by the owner-operators/sole proprietors, which account for more than 50% of the companies active in the sector.

The sector is moving toward becoming consolidated and there is significant reduction in the number of owner-operators in the past few years, as mentioned in the earlier part of the report.

The market is dominated by few international players, such as DHL, DB Schenker, DSV, Kuehne + Nagel, and Ceva Logistics. Some of the major domestic players include BRT, SDA Express, Savino Del Bene, Fercam, Italtrans, and Arcese.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Technological Trends

    3. 4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    4. 4.4 Value Chain/Supply Chain Analysis

    5. 4.5 Spotlight on Freight Rates

    6. 4.6 Commentary on Operating Costs (share of fuel costs, wages, vehicle maintenance, etc. and their trends)

    7. 4.7 Demand and Supply Analysis (Trucks, Drivers, Labor, etc.)

    8. 4.8 Insights on Intermodal/Container Utilization in Trucking

    9. 4.9 Brief on Other Segments, such as CEP, Last Mile Delivery, Cold Chain Logistics

    10. 4.10 Impact of Covid-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 By Destination

      1. 5.1.1 Domestic

      2. 5.1.2 International/Cross-border

    2. 5.2 By End User

      1. 5.2.1 Manufacturing (Including Automotive)

      2. 5.2.2 Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying

      3. 5.2.3 Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry

      4. 5.2.4 Construction

      5. 5.2.5 Distributive Trade (wholesale and retail trade)

      6. 5.2.6 Pharmaceutical and Healthcare

      7. 5.2.7 Other End Users (Telecommunications, etc.)


    1. 6.1 Overview (Market Concenttration and Major Players)

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 Deutsche Post DHL Group

      2. 6.2.2 DB Schenker

      3. 6.2.3 DSV

      4. 6.2.4 Kuehne + Nagel

      5. 6.2.5 Ceva Logistics

      6. 6.2.6 Fercam SpA

      7. 6.2.7 Arcese Trasporti SpA

      8. 6.2.8 BRT SpA

      9. 6.2.9 Spinelli SRL

      10. 6.2.10 NUMBER 1 Logistics Group SpA

      11. 6.2.11 Italtrans SpA

      12. 6.2.12 Artoni Trasporti SpA

      13. 6.2.13 Trasporti Internazionali Transmec SpA

      14. 6.2.14 GRUBER Logistics SpA

      15. 6.2.15 Savino Del Bene SpA

      16. 6.2.16 Arco Spedizioni SpA

      17. 6.2.17 Raben SITTAM SRL

      18. 6.2.18 SMET SpA

      19. 6.2.19 Lannutti Group

      20. 6.2.20 Codognotto Group*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  8. 8. APPENDIX

    1. 8.1 Macroeconomic Indicators (GDP by industry, constribution of transport and storage to economy, etc.)

    2. 8.2 Trade Statistics (Exports and Imports by products and by country of detination/origin)

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Italy Road Freight Transport Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Italy Road Freight Transport Market is growing at a CAGR of <1% over the next 5 years.

Fercam SpA, Arcese Trasporti SpA, BRT SpA, Spinelli SRL , NUMBER 1 Logistics are the major companies operating in Italy Road Freight Transport Market.

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