Optimism results in a new high for the Stifel Logistics Confidence Index

Article by Cathy Morrow Roberson from Transport Intelligence - Published on October 18th 2013

Optimism over an improving airfreight market along with an overall positive outlook for the next six months resulted in the Stifel Logistics Confidence Index increasing 1.6 points to 54.6. This is not only the ninth consecutive month the index registered above the 50 threshold, but it is now at its highest level since it first began in March 2012.

The airfreight index posted strong gains for the month. For the current situation, the index noted a 2.8 point jump from September to 48.1. While still below the 50-level, this is the highest point for the airfreight current situation since the Stifel Logistics Confidence Index began in early 2012. By tradelane, the Europe outbound lanes contributed the biggest increases with Europe to Asia lane increasing 4.1 points to 46.5 and the Europe to US lane increasing 4.0 points to 51.9. This strong outbound increase may be attributed to the fact that Eurozone export orders reached a 27-month high in August. Meanwhile, the Asia to Europe lane increased a healthy 2.9 points to 48.5 thanks to improving economic conditions in Europe. However, the US to Europe lane dipped 0.3 points to 45.4.


The Logistics Confidence index continues to indicate increasing optimism among European airfreight forwarders in regards to the next six months for airfreight. In particular, the Europe to Asia lane which noted the largest gain from September, increasing 5.0 points to 60.2.


Despite continued rate declines and overcapacity, the overall sea freight index noted a 0.5 increase to 54.6. A decline was noted in the present situation which fell 1.3 points to 47.1. However, the expectations for the next six months improved 2.4 points to 62.1. For the present situation, all lanes except the Europe to US lane noted declines with Europe to Asia lane reporting the biggest decline of 1.3 points to 48.5. The Europe to US lane, despite the only lane to note a positive increase, only increased 0.2 points to 43.8.   The six month outlook was a bit more positive with all lanes reporting positive gains with the Asia to Europe lane noting the largest increase of 3.7 points to 64.0.


In this month's unique question, we asked survey participants if emerging markets are a part of their company’s growth strategy. An overwhelming majority of survey participants noted yes at 83.9% while 16.1% indicated no. For those that indicated emerging markets as an important part of their strategy, Africa, Brazil, China, Thailand, India and Turkey were the most cited emerging markets for growth prospects.


The Logistics Confidence Index continues to show strong optimism for the next six months, jumping 2.6 points to 61.7 for the month. Confidence is on the rise as freight forwarders expect improving market conditions and increases in volumes.
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