The outlook for business on European trade lanes is improving, according to the Stifel Nicolaus Logistics Confidence Index, which increased for the third consecutive month in January.
The overall index, which is based on a monthly survey of the expectations for the current and future business of international shippers and freight forwarders by Transport Intelligence, increased 0.8 points to 48.8 from 48.0 in the last month of 2012.
Increased optimism among ocean freight forwarders on the European trade lanes drove the overall increase. In terms of the current logistics situation, the ocean freight index increased 1.8 points to 46.6 in the first month of 2013.
Air freight continued to lag, down 0.8 points to 39.7. At below the 50.0 mark, both indices indicate weaker volumes relative to the time of year.
Survey respondents expect volumes to improve for the time of year. In January 2013, both ocean and air forwarders expressed slightly more optimism surrounding the six-month outlook compared with December.
For air freight, the logistics expectations index increased 0.4 points to 52.0, while for sea freight the index was up 1.7 points to 56.9.