Confidence starting to return to logistics market

The latest results of Tis Global Logistics Business Confidence Index have shown a significant return of optimism to the market.

Although the index weakened slightly in April from +1.05 to -4.43, there was far more positive sentiment about the future. Overall the index assessing confidence in the state of the market in twelve months time moved from a score of -26 in February to +4 in April. This contrasts strongly with the results in February and March when respondents expressed overwhelmingly negative expectations of the future.

Ti polled logistics industry executives from all key geographies, logistics segments and industry vertical sectors in April 2009. Respondents were asked to rate the strength of the market in which they were operating and how they felt the future would compare with existing market conditions.

Key findings of the survey include:

Survey respondents perceived the North American market to be the weakest of all the regions. However they also expect the biggest bounce back, with the index showing the highest expectation of market strength in twelve months time. Asia Pacific and Western European respondents are now also much more confident about the future.
Central & Eastern European respondents were the gloomiest, expecting their markets to weaken significantly over the next twelve months.

Contract logistics executives indicate the highest level of confidence in the present market and have the highest level of optimism about the future. Respondents from the Express sector also expect a strong rebound with Intermodal executives foreseeing the weakest market conditions in a years time.

Logistics service providers are more optimistic than shippers. Given that manufacturers/retailers will have a better idea of order books and production schedules than their suppliers, the bounce back may not be as strong as some hope.

According to John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Transport Intelligence, the Index provides glimmers of hope for the hard pressed logistics industry. "The rebound in confidence over the past month has been significant. However although industry executives are feeling more confident about the future, present market conditions continue to weaken, albeit slightly. It is too early to call an upturn, but similarly we should not be blind to the positive sentiment our Index reveals."


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