For companies in the air freight business, confidence is increasing. May reports showed an increase in air freight tracking numbers of 2.5 points in the air freight index, which put it at 59.5 points. This was 3.8 points higher than the same point last year, and an astounding 10.6 points higher than two years ago. The highest gains were seen in Europe to Asia, which saw a 7 point increase in May. Asia to Europe saw a decrease of 2 points, but most other major areas saw increases. This data comes from the monthly survey that collects data to create the Stifel Logistics Confidence Index. Several logistics professionals report their information to the survey, which is proposed each month. The companies report volumes, relative to the time of the year, and their expectations for the coming six months. Interestingly, the survey found improvements in air freight, but not in sea freight. Demand for sea freight seems to be dropping across the board.
May’s report is the 11th straight month of airfreight expansion and higher volumes, and more product going through the air means less going across the sea. Why is the industry seeing this shift? It’s hard to say, but a demand for faster shipping from the consumer may be part of the reason. People expect to get their products lighting fast, and flying is almost always faster than shipping by boat. Slight drops in fuel prices could also be a factor. While fuel costs are still high, they are dropping, and this makes air freight less of an expense for the manufacturer. In light of this data, forwarders who list with Globaility’s freight forwarders directory can expect to see more interest in the air cargo and freight sections.