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This table includes additional information to the above visualized indicators, i.e. a short definition of this indicator and a description of the politically determined target values as well as explaining the political intention behind selecting this indicator.


Final energy consumption in goods transport represents the energy consumption for the carriage of goods within Germany via inland shipping, by rail and by road.

Target and intention

Transport creates a range of problems. For instance, noise and air pollution impair quality of life, especially in cities, and traffic-related emissions contribute to climate change. The emission of harmful greenhouse gases is closely linked to the energy consumed for transport purposes.
The aim is to reduce final energy consumption in goods transport by 15 to 20 % by 2030 compared to 2005.

Data status

The data published in the indicator report 2022 is as of 31 October 2022. The data shown on this platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2022.

Text from the Indicator Report 2022 

The data regarding domestic final energy consumption originates from the TREMOD (Transport Emissions Estimation Model) database at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. TREMOD is a model for evaluating transport emissions. The data record fuel consumption within Germany irrespective of where refuelling takes place. “Final energy” refers to that part of the total energy used that is directly consumed in transport. It does not cover the conversion losses that arise during the production of fuels or any pipeline losses that may occur.

TREMOD also supplies the goods transport volumes which are used to calculate the specific energy consumption of this sector. Air freight transport is not included, as it accounts for negligibly small volumes.

By definition, the indicator for final energy consumption in goods transport refers to consumption within Germany. It gives only an inadequate reflection of the German economy’s increasingly complex international ties in a globalised world.

The energy-consumption data presented here is supplemented by energy efficiency, or energy consumed per tonne-kilometre. The number of tonne-kilometres provides information about the extent to which transport intensity or the distance per transported tonne changes.

Contrary to the Federal Government’s target, final energy consumption for the carriage of goods was 1.8 % higher in 2020 compared with 2005. Goods thereby accounted for 28.7 %1 of total final energy consumption in the transport sector. The sharp increase can be attributed primarily to freight transport by road. Final energy consumption in road goods transport increased by 3.8 % during this period, while consumption for rail and inland shipping was significantly reduced (‒ 17.9 % and – 32.7 % respectively).

During the same period, goods transport volumes increased by 15.9 %. In conjunction with comparable energy consumption in 2005 and 2020, this means a significant increase in efficiency of 12.2 % during that time.

During the economic crisis of 2009, price-adjusted gross value added in the manufacturing industry suffered a particularly sharp decline of just under 20 %. This heavy loss particularly affected the transport sector, which reacts directly to increases and falls in the production of goods. The resultant decrease in the utilisation of transport capacity explains why average energy consumption per tonne-kilometre rose slightly despite the sharp fall in overall energy consumption in absolute terms during the crisis years.

After the crisis, the transportation industry has recovered fastly and the transportation volume already increased in 2010 above the value in 2005 by 45 billion tonne-kilometres. The pre-crisis level from 2008 was exceeded in 2015. The development continued and increased by 12 % until 2019 compared to the value in 2010. Simultaneously, the energy consumption increased only slightly by 4.3 %, which caused an increase in efficiency by 6.9 % in this period. However, the development reversed during the first year of pandemic. In 2020, energy consumption and transportation volume reduced by 3.2 % and 4.3 %, respectively, compared to pre-pandemic level in 2019, whereby the pandemic affected goods transport not as severe as passenger transport (see indicator 11.2.b). Further, the comparably small decrease in energy consumption caused a slight deterioration in efficiency by 1.2 %.

This is why the latest trend of the indicator presents a beneficial development, although the consumption per tonne-kilometre also increased.

1The sum of shares of goods transport (indicator 11.2.a) and passenger transport (indicator 11.2.b) in proportion to total final energy consumption in transport do not add up to 100 %. This discrepancy is caused by different definitions of energy consumption in passenger and goods transport (domestic consumption; source: TREMOD) and total final energy consumption in traffic (domestic sales; source: AG Energiebilanzen).

The synoptic table provides information about the evaluation of the indicator in previous years. It shows if the weather symbol assigned to an indicator was rather stable or volatile in the past years. (Evaluation of the Indicator Report 2022 )


11.2.a Final energy consumption in goods transport


Reduction by 15–20 % by 2030






Evaluation <p>Blitz</p>