Logistics Trends & Insights along with Mike King & Associates are pleased to announce the APAC Forwarding Index. This unique index will measure monthly sentiment from forwarders, logistics providers, carriers, shippers and more that does business within Asia-Pacific and by way of international freight movements. Month-to-month changes in international air and ocean by North America, Europe and Emerging Markets tradelanes as well as changes within intra-Asia including air, ocean, road and rail. In addition, a three-month outlook will be measured.
To take the current survey and receive a free copy of the analysis, click here.
The Asia-Pacific forwarding market continues to be a region of growth. While volumes are high, competition is viewed not only as highly fragmented but fierce thus profitability remains elusive for some players. In addition, the market is changing as the region evolves from an export dependent economy to a balanced one. No longer are forwarders focused only on air and ocean freight but also on intra-Asia services including rail and trucking as supply chains between countries become more entwined.
As international air and ocean markets slumped in recent years due to overcapacity and erratic rates, intra-Asia became a shining light for forwarders. A recent Journal of Commerce article cited the CEO of MCC Transport as saying that one in four containers that move around the world is carried in the intra-Asia trade which has more than 70 shipping lines and 10,000 port pairs. A large market indeed but a major concern for many playing in this market is infrastructure. The same Journal of Commerce article highlighted the fact that while trade is growing and smaller ports expanding with berths and additional equipment, the infrastructure behind the ports is unable to handle the growing container volumes.
Meanwhile, the slump in international airfreight may finally be over. The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines reported 2016 freight tonne kilometers (FTK) increased 1.8% from 2015. The trend continued into 2017 with January FTKs up 4.7% boosted by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays according to the Association’s Director General.
For ocean freight, the dust refuses to settle as rates fell to historic lows in 2016 but now are creeping upwards as unprecedented consolidation, new alliances and the bankruptcy of Hanjin serve as a wake-up call for a market long in need of right-sizing capacity and evening out severe rate fluctuations.
How the Asia-Pacific freight market performs affects the entire world. For forwarders, Asia-Pacific is seen as a growth opportunity while others view the region as an emerging global economic powerhouse.