Structural change demands greater mobility

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

As a result of ageing populations and structural changes, mobility is set to rise in the next 15-20 years, says Stefan Schneider in an April research paper for Deutsche Bank.

The transport and logistics industries are set to reap huge benefits from the expected structural changes that will take place in the next two decades, believes the author. Evolving project economies will lead to more frequent changes in working environments and locations, he adds. 

Although advances in media communications have led to a more impersonal form of work interaction, Schneider believes “personal contacts and meetings” will remain a core concept in interpersonal work contact. 

Spending on transport services is set to grow annually by a conservative 1.6% to 2025, according to Schneider. Older people will lead more mobile and healthier lives thanks to improved educational standards and higher incomes, he says, adding that women’s higher educational achievement means they will cover greater distances in work-related travel. 

Due to changing demographics, there will be a decline in the number of schoolchildren and a subsequent rise in the number of elderly persons, leading to slightly reduced demand for transport, claims Schneider. However, he predicts that people will travel less often, though when they do so it will be over longer distances. 

Because of the current high price of oil, Schneider foresees an increase in oil production. This will lead to a more balanced price by 2025, by which time it should even out at around $75 a barrel, he predicts – an increase of around 10% in real terms. 

Those who invest in education will enjoy greater benefits like higher incomes in the future, argues Schneider. 

Schneider admits that the estimates on which he bases his assumptions are “fraught with considerable uncertainty” but insists that the “specific assumptions are plausible”. 

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