Content of the study:
The freight transport market - France

Available languages


1.1 Market definition and presentation

Freight transport can be defined as the movement, from one point to another, of goods of any kind, whether by land, sea or air.

The European freight transport market has been growing in recent years: over the period 2016-2028, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.57%.

In France, the transport market was also growing until the arrival of the global pandemic, which took its toll on all market players. The bulk of business is captured by road haulage companies (89% in 2021), which benefit from greater flexibility than rail, sea and air transport. Yet the sector is highly competitive, with a minority of companies accounting for a large proportion of sales.

These companies are also under increasing pressure to evolve, particularly with regard to their local transport activities. The development of e-commerce, points of collection and the search for clean goods transport solutions within cities could definitively metamorphose the business.

There are also regulatory constraints, with fuel taxes remaining high and squeezing company margins.

The trend is therefore towards cleaner, more optimized solutions. The various forms of LTL(Less than Truckload, which means that the truck is not fully loaded, or is sometimes made up of several loads of different types) are growing fast, as they enable flows to be optimized, and river transport should continue to grow in the years to come, particularly in France.

1.2 The European market benefits from globalization

In ****, road freight traffic will be dominated (***) by five countries: Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland. Poland leads the way with a **.*% market share, while France is in fourth place, according to L'antenne, with a *% share.

Distribution of freight transport sales by mode of transport European Union, ****, in billions of euros ...

1.3 A fast-growing national market

It is possible to estimate the size of the freight transport market at around *** billion euros for the year **** according to Transport Achat, which uses figures from the French Ministry of Ecological Transition for ****.

The sector's growth is relatively sustained, exceeding *.*% on average every year since ****.

In France, most goods are ...

1.4 The effects of Covid-19 on the freight transport market

The graph below was produced using data from NAF code **.** - "Road freight transport" .

Road freight transport sales index France, ****-****, Base *** in **** Source: ****

We note a decline in road freight transport activity overall, most likely due to the Covid-** pandemic. When comparing the month of May **** with that of ****, we ...


2.1 Demand by type of goods transported

In ****, domestic freight transport accounted for *** billion tonne-kilometres (***), a unit of measurement corresponding to the transport of one tonne over a distance of one kilometer. Foreign-flagged road haulage accounts for around **% of this total. [***]

In terms of goods, manufactured products are the most frequently transported in France. They account for around ...

2.2 Local delivery is changing

The freight transport sector has evolved in recent years, notably with the rise of local delivery services, whose sales have increased by **.*% between **** and **** (***)

Sales indices for road freight transport France, **** - ****, base *** in **** Source: ****

Last-mile logistics have undergone many changes, with the multiplication of home delivery services and the rise ...

2.3 The growth of e-commerce

E-commerce represents themost active demand segment today. The business model of these digital companies is based on shipping parcels to consumers, with products stored in large warehouses. The health crisis has played a major role in the explosion of e-commerce. [***]

With average annual growth of **.*%, e-commerce players should continue to benefit ...


3.1 Road haulage still dominates

In ****, road haulage under French and foreign flag in France remains largely dominant compared to other means of transport. Some *** billion tonne-kilometres (***).

French-flagged road freight transport France, **** - ****, billion tonne-kilometers Source: ****

Despite a decline in activity in terms of tonne-kilometres, the road freight sector is nevertheless experiencing relatively significant sales ...

3.2 Other modes of freight transport are experiencing difficulties

The transport of goods by river and rail represents only *% of the total volume of goods transported in France[***].

Even before the health crisis, the number of tons moving through French ports was declining (***).

evolution of French port activity France, **** - ****, thousands of tonnes Source: ****

This is corroborated by the fact ...

3.3 A competitive but highly concentrated sector

Transport companies

The freight transport sector is highly competitive, since almost all the companies operating in the sector are micro-businesses. In contrast, more than three-quarters of sales were generated by large companies and ETIs in **** (***)[***].

Some *,*** companies, organized as a grouping of several legal units, generate over **% of the sector's ...

3.4 Real-time transport monitoring, a new competitive market segment

Strong market competition and high external costs make customer loyalty a key competitive challenge. In addition to customer commitment, quality customer care significantly reduces after-sales service costs for companies in this market. In this context, real-time transport data collection has become a competitive advantage. A number of start-ups have specialized in ...


4.1 Products and/or services

It is possible to distinguish the offer of road haulage companies, which account for some **% of freight transport activity in France, from the rest of the companies.

The road hauliers' offer can be focused on two aspects:

Local land transport; Intercity transport (***).

Source: ****

Some trucks can be adapted to carry specific ...

4.2 Road transport costs continue to rise

The price of transporting goods generally depends on the volume and weight of the goods, the distance of the journey, and the mode of transport used (***).

Despite the difference in prices between the various players in the sector, it is possible to determine that recent years have seen an increase in ...

4.3 Fuel price trends

Fuel costs are generally costs on which carriers prefer to make savings. They represent around **% of external costs for road haulage companies, and are not negligible for air and sea carriers[***].

After a gradual rise in prices between **** and ****, prices stabilized in ****-**** due to the health crisis. as a result ...

4.4 Digitalization, ecology and progress in river transport

To facilitate savings in the freight transport sector, new digital platforms are being set up to optimize transport. Timocom, for example, has created a freight exchange platform, which pools the freight transport demand of several companies with freight forwarding companies[***].

A number of initiatives are also underway to achieve energy savings ...


5.1 Freight transport regulations

Providers of public road haulage services are obliged to charge prices that cover fuel costs, road expenses, tolls and vehicle depreciation[***].

Prices must be set according to :

The services provided by the carrier; Thelength of time the vehicle is immobilized during loading and unloading; The time required to transport the freight; Fuel ...


To keep reading, buy the full research

What is in this market study?

  • What are the figures on the size and growth of the market?
  • What is driving the growth of the market and its evolution?
  • What are the latest trends in this market?
  • What is the positioning of companies in the value chain?
  • How do companies in the market differ from each other?
  • Access company mapping and profiles.
  • Data from several dozen databases

  • This market study is available online and in pdf format (30 p.)
  • Consult an example PDF or online

Our other products

Our other products

Pack 5 études (-15%) - France

378 €

  • 5 études au prix de 75,6€HT par étude à choisir parmi nos 800 titres sur le catalogue France pendant 12 mois
  • Conservez -15% sur les études supplémentaires achetées
  • Choisissez le remboursement des crédits non consommés au terme des 12 mois (durée du pack)

Consultez les conditions du pack et de remboursement des crédits non consommés.



Analysts 1 sector analyzed
in 40 pages


  • Top Universities
  • Expert opinion


  • Databases
  • Press
  • Company reports


  • Continuously updated
  • Permanent watch


  • Synthetic structure
  • Standardized charts

Reviews (2)

Reviews (2)

The freight transport market - France

Publicado en 21/11/2022 by Nafissa GHARBI

Exhaustive, récente et intéressante.

Businesscoot Response:

Merci Nafissa pour votre retour. :)

The freight transport market - France

Publicado en 21/10/2022 by Vpc Internet

Étude très intéressante qui nous a permis de prendre de la hauteur dans notre réflexion

Customer cases and references

Customer cases and references
La pépite Interview
Linkedin logo

BFM Business

La pépite Interview

Paul-Alexis Kebabtchieff
Linkedin logo

Boston Consulting Group

Paul-Alexis Kebabtchieff

Marie Guibart
Linkedin logo

Kea Partners

Marie Guibart

Elaine, Durand
Linkedin logo

Crédit Agricole, Information & Veille

Elaine, Durand

Philippe Dilasser
Linkedin logo

Initiative & Finance

Philippe Dilasser

Anne Baudry
Linkedin logo


Anne Baudry

Amaury Wernert
Linkedin logo

Kroll (Duff & Phelps)

Amaury Wernert

Smart Leaders Interview
Linkedin logo


Smart Leaders Interview