Forwarders more upbeat about airfreight than sea

The Stifel Logistics Confidence Index for May indicated some improvements from April’s decline. In particular, the six-month outlook appears bright as airfreight gained 2.8 points to 63.4 and sea freight increased 2.1 points to 62.9. Overall, the total index increased 1.1 points to 57.4 and even though this is down 0.6 points from one year ago, it is still 6.7 points higher than May 2013.


The Stifel Logistics Confidence Index for May indicated some improvements from April’s decline. In particular, the six-month outlook appears bright as airfreight gained 2.8 points to 63.4 and sea freight increased 2.1 points to 62.9. Overall, the total index increased 1.1 points to 57.4 and even though this is down 0.6 points from one year ago, it is still 6.7 points higher than May 2013.

Airfreight continues to lead the optimism for both the six-month outlook as well as for the present. Sea freight however, remains troublesome for the present and while some ports have settled labour issues, other issues such as the rise of the mega-vessel and larger shipping alliances are straining port operations. Congestion is a big problem for many ports and perhaps airfreight is currently benefiting from this misfortune of ports, the report’s authors – Transport Intelligence (Ti) – noted.

At the moment favourable currency rates are likely boosting the Europe to Asia and Europe to US airfreight trade lanes, both noting big gains from April, up 7.0 and 3.0 points respectively (58.2 and 62.7). The only declining trade lane for the month was recorded for Asia to Europe, down 2.0 points to 52.6. The US to Europe lane was up 0.7 points to 48.1 to complete the trade lane list. This marks the second month in a row for contraction along the US to Europe lane, most likely due to the strong US dollar.