March 27 - A new monthly index launched by Stifel Nicolaus and based on a worldwide survey by Transport Intelligence provides an insight into the confidence of air and sea freight forwarders on key trade lanes.

The index for March for all trade lanes indicated low existing confidence among air forwarders. The index for the current situation registered 42.2 which at below the significant 50 mark indicates lower volumes handled relative to the time of year.

However, over the next six months conditions in the air freight market are expected to improve with the index for the expected situation registering 58.7.

Air forwarders were least confident on the Europe to Asia trade lane (39.2) and conversely most upbeat about the levels of freight they were experiencing on the Europe to US trade lane (46.6) although volumes are still lower than they would have expected.

The index for sea freight was marginally higher than that of air cargo at 43.8, although at below the 50 mark, it indicates that weaker volumes than expected are being experienced in this sector. However, sea forwarders also expressed significantly more optimism for the coming months with the index for expected situation registering 57.2.

Forwarders on the Asia to Europe sea freight lane registered the highest index value for the present situation (47.4). Sea forwarders on this route also anticipated significantly higher volumes over the next six months, with the index for the expected situation registering 64.1.

The authors note that whilst current international freight trends remain soft, they are confident that there will be a return to global growth later this year.

The full results of the Stifel Nicolaus Logistics Confidence Index can be downloaded by clicking on the link here:

The Stifel Nicolaus Logistics Confidence Index is calculated based on responses from a monthly survey, completed by a number of logistics professionals. The survey questions participants as to volumes that they are currently experiencing, relative to the time of year, as well as how they expect volumes to develop over the next six months. The total index covers four European based trade lanes, including:

  • Europe to Asia
  • Asia to Europe
  • Europe to US
  • US to Europe

Stifel Nicolaus is part of Stifel Financial Corp, a brokerage and investment banking firm, established in 1890 and based in St Louis, Missouri.