The Way Ahead Transport’ survey, conducted by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, found that China and India represented the most popular destinations for investment, followed by the US.
But while confidence among respondents from the aviation and rail industries was high thanks to low oil prices, funding availability and the impact of infrastructure improvements, the shipping industry remained far less optimistic because of over-capacity in many areas.
Just over half of more than 200 respondents saw the global economic slowdown as the greatest threat to the industry although most still felt the transport sector could expect further growth over the next five years. Rising passenger numbers and freight volumes were anticipated by 73 per cent while a rise in the number of routes and services was anticipated by 52 per cent.
More than two-thirds of industry professionals expected investment in technology to rise, with low carbon technology and predictive analytics “expected to represent the most significant driver of change in the transport sector over the next five years”.
But infrastructure remained a key theme for the sector. “For the aviation, rail and road industries, inadequate infrastructure is seen as the greatest challenge to the operational efficiency of their industries,” said the report.
“Bank debt, capital markets and private equity will represent transport businesses’ main sources of funding over the next two years, and 74 per cent of respondents expect the availability of funds to stay the same, or even increase, over the next five years.”