Japan Freight Transport and Shipping Report Q2 2016
BMI View: Japan's trade will enjoy positive real and nominal growth in 2016 and 2017, despite the poor outlook for the economy as a whole. Regional trade talks will encourage further trade growth, and this will lead to a boost for the country's freight transport sector. Aside from the port of Tokyo, we expect rail freight to outperform. Despite a recession forecast in 2016, we expect that volumes in Japanese road freight will see a third consecutive year of positive - albeit almost flat growth - following the two years of declines in 2012 and 2013. Growth will remain flat over the remainder of our forecast period, thanks to weak industrial production and low consumer confidence. The rail freight sector is set to be the outperforming mode in Japan in 2016, as well as over the medium term with y-o-y tonnage gains projected to come in at 3.30% over the next 12 months. Rail freight will undoubtedly benefit longer term from the Hokkaido Shinkansen rail extension development, which runs from Aomori through the Seikan tunnel to Hakodate and will open in March 2016. By the end of our current forecast period in 2019, we anticipate the rail freight network will be carrying 54mn tonnes, compared to 49mn tonnes in 2016.
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