The Stifel Nicolaus Logistics Confidence Index, a monthly survey of international shippers and forwarders measuring Europe-based trade lanes, conducted by Stifel Nicolaus Transportation & Logistics Research Group and Transport Intelligence, rose 0.6 points to 48.0 in December, the second consecutive month of improvement.
The increase was favorable, but the reading remains below the 50.0 threshold, indicating that the current environment continues to underperform normal expectations for this time of year. Expectations for the six-month market outlook also have become slightly less optimistic, Stifel said in a written statement.
The air freight market index rose by 1.5 points in December to 40.5, up 3.8 percent, and ocean freight volumes increased to their highest level in five months.
Additionally, 46 percent of survey respondents said they were seeing manufacturing return from Asia to North America and Europe.