Chiasso, 26.7.2012 The traffic volume of the Swiss combined transport operator Hupac fell by 11.7% in the first half of 2012. In June, the closure of the Gotthard line alone caused a reduction of 37% in transalpine traffic via Switzerland.
In the first half of 2012, Hupac's traffic volume fell by 11.7% to 332,007 road consignments in unaccompanied combined transport. One of the reasons was the economic downturn that has curbed the exchange of goods throughout Europe since the end of 2011, reducing market demand for transport services. Much of the negative traffic development was due to the numerous service interruptions on the network, particularly on the Gotthard line. A rockfall at Gurtnellen forced the closure of the line for five days in March and almost four weeks in June. In that month, Hupac recorded a 36.8% drop in volume in the core business of Alpine transit via Switzerland.
Supply secured during the Gotthard closure
During the closure of the Gotthard line, Hupac made every effort to maintain the transport corridor on the North-South axis, at least in part. By diverting trains via Domodossola and to a limited extent via Modane (Fréjus) and the Brenner, Hupac maintained a large part of the transport service via Switzerland, thus dispelling fears of supply shortfalls and production losses. For some short-haul links such as Baden-Württemberg-Italy and Basel/Aarau-Ticino, no reasonable alternatives could be found. This led to shifts back onto the road, some of which have not yet been reversed.
Consequences of the Gotthard closure
Whilst Hupac managed to maintain its combined transport network despite the closure of the main European traffic artery for several weeks, at the same time the loss of traffic led to serious undercoverage of fixed costs. The direct losses alone add up to millions. Maintaining the existing transport network will therefore require special measures within the existing support scheme. “The natural disaster at the Gotthard highlights the vulnerability of the transport system,” says Bernhard Kunz, Managing Director of Hupac Ltd. Various preventive measures may reduce the risk of traffic disruption, for example international construction site coordination and corresponding emergency plans.
Traffic development in 1st half 2012
Number of road consignments
| || || || |
|Transalpine via CH ||194.442 ||223.190 ||-12,9 |
|Transalpine via A ||27.983 ||27.495 ||+1,8 |
|Transalpine via F || 0 || 1.221 || -100 |
|Total transalpine ||222.425 ||251.906 ||-11,7 |
|Non-transalpine ||109.582 ||123.987 ||-11,6 |
|Total traffic ||332.007 ||375.893 ||-11,7 |