The World Trade Organization (WTO) indicates that global trade will see a recovery and show growth in 2017. Container port traffic has reached a record high and economists point out that global export orders have reached their highest level in several years. These promising factors, when paired with an expected recovery in global GDP, give the logistics industry plenty of reasons to be optimistic about 2017 and 2018.
Q1 2017 Logistics Industry Report
According to the WTO, world trade growth will likely increase to 2.4% in 2017, projecting trade growth between 2.1% and 4.0% for 2018. While there are many uncertainties, there is strong hope for positive growth for the coming two years.
Specifically for the freight industry, the DAT North American Freight Index increased by a whopping 47 percent in March 2017, marking the first month-over-month increase of 2017, credited to increased freight activity. Increased demand for trucking services in the construction and energy sectors accounted for the boost in overall freight and spot flatbed freight activity.
The spot truckload market posted only moderate gains with the national average spot rates for van increased just one penny to $1.63 /mile and refrigerated freight increasing to $1.87/mile.
Flatbed freight activity increased by 45 percent in March, when compared to February traffic. The flatbed load-to-truck (L/T) ratio was also up 38 percent, showing an overall gain of 109% when compared to March 2016.
Van freight activity saw an increase of 47 percent in March 2017 over February totals, and truck freight activity saw a boost of 13 percent in March compared to February. Similarly, refrigerated load traffic increased 49 percent making conditions very positive for refrigerated carriers.
Rates continued their rise into the first week of April, indicating a very favorable outlook for the start of the second quarter.