The index is generated from an extensive survey of global logistics professionals, asked to provide their views on current levels of volumes in the industry and their expectations for six months’ time.
An index value of 50 indicates no change in the volumes currently being experienced for the time of year; above 50 indicates higher volumes, while below 50 indicates lower volumes.
The index for both the current and expected situation combined registered 47.3 for the month, down from 47.6 in September.
TI said that while the index for sea freight continued to fall, the index for air freight increased for the first time since April.
“In terms of the current logistics situation, air freight forwarders continued to indicate weaker volumes relative to the time of year – however, at 40.2 the index was up from 38.8 the previous month.
“In contrast, results for sea freight fell further in October, with the index down to 40.6 from 42.3 in September.”
In terms of prospects for the next six months, forwarders remained hopeful, although the index for air and sea combined fell slightly to 54.3 in October from 54.7 the previous month.
Lucy Palmer, TI Economist and complier of the Stifel Nicolaus Logistics Confidence Index, said: “The launch of new electronic products at the end of September appears to have had some positive impact on air freight demand, although volumes are still down significantly relative to the time of year.
“As global economic conditions remain challenging, any late development of a peak shipping season looks increasingly less likely.”
In this month’s survey, participants were also asked whether they thought shipping lines are losing or gaining market share from freight forwarders.
The majority of respondents (46%) believed this share was not changing, 28% believed shipping lines were losing market share and while 26% indicated a gain.