Tuesday, May 12, 2009

European Freight: ‘The Worst Is Over’

(International Freighting Weekly – Gavin van Marle)

Increasing levels of business and confidence, according to Danske Bank survey

Latest figures from some major research departments have suggested that the worst of the recession for the European freight industry may now be over. In its latest European Freight Forwarding Index, Danish national bank Danske Bank recorded increased levels of both volumes and business confidence among forwarders, compared with two months ago.

Author of the report, Danske Bank transport equity analyst Johannes Møller, told IFW: “The good news is that the index on the current situation is now above 50, indicating that the participants are today handling more volumes than they did two months ago. We see this as a clear indication that the recovery in the freight markets has begun.”

Respondents to the Danske Bank survey were asked two questions: what volumes their company handles today compared with two months previously; and how they expect volumes to develop over the following two months. Respondents were given three options to reply: lower volumes, unchanged volumes, and higher volumes.

The answers were then translated into an index ranging from 0 to 100, in which a value above 50 represents an improvement in business levels. The survey questioned 123 forwarders in Scandinavia, the UK, Germany and east Europe, and the index for current business in May was at 59, compared with 46 in April, 27 in March and 28 in February. It also found improved confidence going forward, with an index of 60 for the next two months. Read more here.