Stifel reports confidence among forwarders declines

Across all modes, the Stifel Logistics Confidence Index saw the largest one-month decline to date. The overall index fell 4.8 percent sequentially and 13.1 percent year-on-year to a reading of 51.5 – its lowest level since June 2013.  Airfreight volumes continued to slow with current tonnage growth in three out of four major European trade lanes turning negative. According to IATA, year-on-year freight-tonne-kilometer (FTK) growth turned negative in July this year for the first time since March 2013. The air freight logistics confidence index decreased 2.8 points to 51.6 in this month. Compared to Sept. 2014, this is 4.2 points lower while also 0.4 points lower than Sept. 2013.

Although European confidence seems to be improving, this hasn’t been reflected in the airfreight markets.  Global trade remains slow in emerging markets and the Chinese economy is still volatile, therefore the second half of 2015 is not likely to see much improvement the report said. Respondents to the survey were asked if they thought year-over-year airfreight volume growth in the second half of this year would be strong enough to boost full year 2015 within the range of the 5.8 percent growth in 2014. It was revealed that 47.3 percent said no – they thought growth would fall short of 2014. On the other hand, 24.2 percent believed growth would be in line with 2014.

Stifel said demand-driven softness should mean favorable forwarder buy-rates, which could bolster near-term yields, offsetting some top-line pressure, but these effects are likely to be temporary.

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