Cargo index hits all-time high
Danske Bank"s European freight forwarding index reached an all-time high, suggesting that the freight market has come out of the winter slump ?strongly? and that the second quarter has seen a ?good start?.
The monthly index of 147 forwarders requires participants to assess the volume of goods handled today compared with two months ago and asks how they expect volumes to develop over the next two months, all adjusted for business seasonality.
Danske Bank analyst Johannes Møller said: ?Our proprietary European Freight Forwarding Index continues to improve and reached an all-time high in March. Hence the current index is actually overshooting the leading index, underscoring that the freight market has come out of the winter slump strongly and that [the second quarter] is off to a good start.?
Mr Moller said that the ?main driver? of the improvement in March was the improvement seen among freight forwarders active in road transport.
?We now see good volume developments in all three major cargo categories, road, air and sea,? Mr Møller said.
?The index for road freight improved from 49 in February to 82 in March. The pick-up in our index from participants in the road segment was also supported by Danish bridge statistics, where truck traffic on The Great Belt Bridge was up year on year by 0.3% in March, versus -10.1% in January and -9.5% in February.?
It is not clear whether the current uptick reflects short term re-stocking of depleted inventory following the economic crisis last year, or a sustained recovery.