Logistics Confidence Index declines for third consecutive month
by Lucy Palmer
The Stifel Nicolaus Logistics Confidence Index declined for the third consecutive month according to the latest industry study by Transport Intelligence. The Index is generated from an extensive survey of global logistics professionals asking their views on current levels of volumes in the industry and their expectations for six months’ time. An index value of 50 indicates no change in the volumes currently being experienced for the time of year; above 50 indicates higher volumes, while below 50 indicates lower volumes.
In July, the index for the current logistics situation – air and sea freight combined – fell to 43.3 from 44.6 in the previous month. This signifies that volumes are well below what forwarders would have expected. Air freight forwarders continued to express less confidence compared with sea freight forwarders, possibly as a result of a shift from air to sea freight as shippers seek to lower transport costs. At 41.1 the index for air freight fell to its lowest level so far, while the index for sea freight remained almost flat at 45.4 (45.7 in June). The index for logistics expectations for six months’ time also fell further in July. The total index for both air and sea expectations now stands at 56.4.
Air Freight at lowest level since index began
Sentiment among air forwarders was particularly low in July, with lower confidence expressed in every trade lane. There was very little variation among individual trade lanes. Air forwarders on the Asia to Europe route continued to indicate the weakest sentiment with regards to current volumes, while the US to Europe route registered the highest index value, albeit at just 42.1.
The index for air freight volume expectations fell to 56.0 from 57.8 in June, indicating forwarders were slightly less optimistic about the outlook for the next six months. The index for the US to Europe trade lane saw the greatest decline at 54.5 in July compared with 57.3 expressed in June.
Sea Freight index remains almost unchanged
The index for sea freight has remained virtually unchanged since April. There were only minor changes among the individual trade lane indices. Forwarders on the Europe to Asia and Europe to US routes expressed slightly more optimism compared with June; while forwarders on the European bound trade lanes saw the indices register minor declines.
In terms of the outlook for the next six months, the total index fell to 56.8 from 58.2 in the previous month. Forwarders across all trade lanes expected a decline in prospects compared with June.
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