Despite improved results in January and February, the March edition of the Stifel Logistics Confidence Index suggests that these months may have merely amounted to positive blips within a downward trend, according to the Index’s authors at Transport Intelligence (Ti).
The release of February trade volume figures for China showed that the country has experienced significant declines in both imports and exports, with the latter contracting 25.4 per cent year-on-year; the steepest decline since May 2009.
At the beginning of March, Alphaliner reported that the global fleet of idle container ships reached a six year high, demonstrating the lengths to which ocean carriers are being forced to go in order to cull capacity. In air freight, IATA released statistics for January showing that monthly demand had risen by 2.7 per cent, though available capacity increased by 7.0 per cent, resulting in a 1.8 per cent contraction in average load factors. While volumes are growing, yields and revenues remain under significant pressure.
The total air freight logistics confidence Index gained 0.5 points in March 2016, totaling 48.6. The Index is 9.3 points lower than in March 2015, and 7.3 points lower than in March 2014. Regarding the present situation, the air freight Index rose by 0.9 points to 45.4.Continuing on from January, all lanes posted month-on-month growth with the exception of Asia to Europe, which lost 2.5 points to reach 41.4.
Europe to Asia gained 1.3 points, though remained below the 50 point mark, standing at 39.1. US to Europe gained 2.6 points to 49.0, whilst Europe to US also gained 2.6 points, and at 53.0 represented the only lane in positive territory.In the expected outlook, the total results were flat, as half the lanes saw gains, whilst the other half saw declines.
Europe to US recorded the most significant gain, increasing by 2.6 points to 52.2. By contrast, US to Europe fell 1.6 points to 53.3. Meanwhile, Europe to Asia fell by 1.6 points to 49.7, whilst Asia to Europe increased by 0.6 points to 51.8.