Logistics industry optimistic for 2014, survey shows
Logistics and trade professionals are more optimistic about the global economy than they were last year, according to the annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.
The index ranks 45 major markets and points out factors that make them attractive to service providers and industry leaders. More than 800 executives were surveyed.
In this year’s survey, 74 percent of logistics professionals view emerging markets’ prospects as “good” or “very good” for 2014. According to Agility, optimism remains in spite of slowing growth in China, and stalled growth in Brazil and India.
“The industry’s confidence in emerging markets shows that logistics executives take a long view and see beyond today’s headlines,” stated Essa Al-Saleh, president and chief executive officer of Agility. “In the past, currency pressures, investor jitters, political instability or a pause in growth was a major setback that undermined confidence about other emerging markets. This time, the industry is staying focused on their enormous potential.”
In the 2013 rankings, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, Colombia and Mexico improved their positions, while the sharpest declines were experienced by Tunisia, Ukraine, Argentina and South Africa.
In regard to China, which ranked No.1, Agility reported that 64 percent of executives “agree” or “strongly agree” that there is actually a shift away from China when it comes to production, and these respondents see Vietnam, India, Mexico and Indonesia as alternatives.
However, Agility did conclude that although its air freight volume to the U.S. fell about 7.5 percent in 2013, China still holds the commanding position as the leading destination and origin in air and ocean cargo.
Finishing out the top five were the countries of Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and Indonesia. The 45th spot in the rankings belonged to Uganda, with Kenya, Bolivia, Tanzania and Cambodia filling spots 44 through 41, respectively.
The country that improved its position the most was Saudi Arabia, moving to the No. 3 spot from No. 9 five years ago.
“Saudi Arabia is in the midst of an unprecedented public spending binge, building and expanding airports, roads, ports, universities, industrial complexes and other infrastructure in an effort to diversity, lessen dependence on oil, and create jobs for millions of young Saudis,” Agility stated.