Asia Pacific logistics executives ôfearful for futureö
Logistics executives from the Asia Pacific region are 'fearful for the future' and feel that 'economic prospects' are the most important issue facing the industry, according to a survey released Wednesday by market research firm Transport Intelligence.
In addition to the potential impact the worldwide financial downturn might have on their firms, the more than 300 executives surveyed also listed rising fuel prices and the need to find good staff as top concerns.
Interestingly, the survey found that government bureaucracy and the environment were the issues least worried about by the respondents.
'It seems that the more immediate concerns over the economic downturn have helped to push ‘softer’ issues such as the environment to the bottom of the agenda,' said the survey authors.
Despite the dour view of the economic future, a high margin of respondents reported volume growth over the past year.
Breaking out the sectors, sea freight shippers experienced the highest growth, early 70 percent reporting increased volumes and almost one-third reporting volume growth of more than 10 percent. Only 15 percent reported a drop in volumes.
Nearly 60 percent of air freight shippers surveyed reported increased volumes during the past year, with a quarter reporting increases of more than 10 percent. However, 26 percent of those in the air freight sector reported decreased volumes, which according to the survey authors is a major worry to forwarders and carriers.
Nearly two-thirds of road freight shippers survey reported increased volumes, however, nearly half saw growth of less than 5 percent.
Optimism for future volume growth remained high, however, with about 25 percent of the respondents believing that volumes would decline over the next year.
Respondents also reported continued increases in rates, with 60 percent of sea shippers, 63 percent of air freight shippers, and 60 percent of road freight shippers reporting increases.
'Despite the continued strength of China, the dominant economy in the region, the survey makes it clear that the logistics sector will not be immune from the global slowdown,' said John Manners-Bell, Transport Intelligence chief executive officer.