Freight News, Logistics

Storm clouds gather over forwarders

[ January 16, 2015   //   ]

The long-term outlook for freight forwarding is cause for concern, says Transport Intelligence (Ti). Although there was little change in its latest Stifel Logistics Confidence Index which, overall, declined just 0.1 points to 57.3, the index of expectations for the next six months fell 0.5 points. “This suggests that perhaps storm clouds may in fact be brewing for freight forwarders. Despite a strengthening US economy, the Eurozone’s economy remains troubling … Meanwhile, China’s economy has cooled even further,” said Ti.

While survey respondents were positive for the air freight six-month outlook – the index increased 0.7 points to 58.7 – it appears that “worrisome signs” from Europe are weighing on survey respondents as US to Europe and Asia to Europe lanes declined 2.6 and 1.4 points respectively.

For sea freight, the index fell 1.4 points – the Europe to Asia lane was the only one to register a positive gain, up 0.9 points to 64.3. The Asia to Europe lane had the biggest drop, declining 4.8 points to 62.2 and the US lanes both declined: Europe to the US down 0.2 points to 66.6 and US to Europe down 2.0 points to 56.9.

For the monthly industry question, participants wre asked how the overall European economy would affect freight volumes over the next six months. Not surprisingly, 56.5% indicated volumes would be mixed depending on the region – and 17.4% said deteriorating macro conditions would stifle volumes, but 13.0% noted improving macro conditions would boost volumes.