After unprecedented road freight job losses in France during 2008, the coming year looks set to be even worse. More than 2000 firms failed due to high fuel costs, and – with negative market conditions set to continue – the industry’s biggest federation is expecting more bankruptcies and unemployment. Hauliers face competition from lower cost countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the three Baltic states, and the picture is no more optimistic at SNCF’s loss making freight division. The company has been unable to improve productivity as the unions are very resistant to reform of working practices. SNCF also owns France’s leading transport, logistics and forwarding group whose fortunes have been relatively healthy during 2008.