In terms of the present logistics situation, the index registered a marginal decline of 0.3 index points to 45.4 from 45.7 in February. Since beginning in March 2012, the index has remained below the 50 threshold, indicating weaker volumes relative to those expected for the time of year - a reflection of the difficult economic conditions being experienced globally.
Despite being slightly less optimistic concerning the current environment, forwarders' expectations for the next six months improved. The index for logistics expectations increased 1.3 points to 59.7 in March.
According to the survey, forwarders continue to anticipate an improvement in volumes, even though the index for the current situation doesn't support this degree of positivity. Lucy Palmer, economist at Transport Intelligence, commented: "Regardless of a decline in the current index, forwarders' confidence surrounding future market conditions strengthened further. This seems surprising; however, it could be that the fall back in the index for March was a one-off resulting from manufacturer closures for the Chinese New Year. Results over the next couple of months will tell us whether or not this is the case."
In a one-off question this month, Ti asked survey participants if there was a visible trend towards increased consolidation (through mergers and acquisitions). Over three quarters of survey participants (76 percent) acknowledged such a trend, while only 14 percent did not. The remaining 10 percent were "unsure".
The Stifel Logistics Confidence Index is generated from an extensive survey of global logistics professionals, asked to provide 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.
Transport Intelligence provides research and analysis dedicated to the global logistics industry.
Source: Transport Intelligence
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