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  November 7th, 2016 | Written by

Stifel Index: Logistics Confidence Still Down

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  • The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping had little effect on the container shipping industry.
  • Rival carriers were quick to fill the gap in services Hanjin Shipping left behind.
  • Underlying market conditions make it difficult to have long-term optimism for air cargo.

The Stifel Logistics Confidence Index remained below the neutral mark but noted a slight improvement against the previous month. The index registered at 49.4.

The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping has had little overall effect on the container shipping industry, according to a report from think tank Transport Intelligence. The report noted that the October Sea Freight Confidence Index remained unchanged from September, at 49.0 points.

This explained by the fact that rival carriers have been quick to fill the gap in services Hanjin Shipping left behind: nine extra sailings were added in September, according to Alphaliner, the maritime shipping consultancy, with another six scheduled for October.

Still, even the biggest carriers are feeling the heat. In an interview with Bloomberg at the end of September, the chairman of A.P. Møller – Mærsk stated that the company “is done with ordering new steel,” in the face of the systemic overcapacity issue.

On the air freight front, the most recent cargo statistics from IATA show that volumes increased by 3.9 percent during August. Stifel’s Air Freight Logistics Confidence Index saw a month-on-month gain of 0.6 points to 49.9.

“It is nonetheless prudent to view such growth with caution,” noted the TI report, as advanced by the head of IATA, who stated, ‘the underlying market conditions make it difficult to have long-term optimism.’”

The October Air Freight Confidence Index also marked a year-on-year improvement of 0.7 points. Nonetheless, the index was 6.6 points below the total recorded for October 2014.

Though remaining above the neutral 50-point mark, air freight logistics expectations were down slightly, falling by 0.5 points against those for September to total 53.0. Two lanes recorded declines, with Asia to Europe the most influential, falling by 2.0 points to 54.5. Meanwhile, Europe to Asia also declined, by 1.1 points to 45.3, offsetting Europe to US, which gained 0.1 points to 56.3, and US to Europe, which gained 0.8 points to 56.0.

Standing at 49.0 points, the Sea Freight Confidence Index was unchanged between September and October, as the results of the present situation canceled out those of the expected situation. The total measured was 0.1 points greater than in October 2015.

The Present Index for Sea Freight recorded a month on month increase of 0.7 points to 46.1. Though there was a mixed set of results among the four lanes surveyed, the gains outweighed the losses. Asia to Europe rose by 2.2 points to 52.3, while U.S. to Europe rose by 1.4 points to 46.7. This offset a 0.7 point decline in Europe to Asia, which fell to 39.6, and a 0.3 point fall in Europe to US, which totaled 45.3.

The Expected Sea Freight Index fell by 0.7 points to 51.9, as three of the four lanes recorded month on month declines. The exception to this was Asia to Europe, which increased by 0.9 points to 54.9. Nonetheless, Europe to US fell by 2.0 points to 52.8, whilst Europe to Asia declined by 1.9 points to 47.9. Furthermore, US to Europe saw a 0.2 point fall to 51.6.