Information released on March 5th 2024 by IATA (International Air Transport Association) revealed some encouraging prospects for the coming months of this year, based on January’s data.

Handling Customer Assets in our Care

“Air cargo growth outpaced trade and production. Several factors in the operating environment should be noted:

  1. Global cross-border trade increased by 1.0% in December compared to the previous month (-0.2% YoY).

  2. In January, the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) improved to 50.3, surpassing the 50 mark for the first time in eight months, indicating expansion. The new export orders PMI also saw an increase to 48.8, but remains below the critical 50 threshold, suggesting a continuing yet decelerating decline in global exports.

  3. Inflation in major economies continued to ease from its peak in terms of Consumer Price Index (CPI) in January, reaching 3.1% in both the US and in the EU, and 2.1% in Japan. China’s CPI, however, indicated deflation for the fourth consecutive month, raising concerns of an economic slowdown. China’s negative inflation rate of -0.8% was the lowest since the Global Financial Crisis in 2009.”

However, here’s another view from “The Outlook for European Road Transport” posted by on 12th January this year.

According to the OECD, global growth is expected to slow further in 2024 to 2.7% from 2.9% in 2023 and 3.3% in 2022. The UN's World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report is even a little more pessimistic, with an estimated growth of 2.4% in 2024…

“The European economy in general and the road freight transport sector in particular are in line with this general diagnosis. The European economy lost its momentum in 2023, against a backdrop of high living costs, low external demand and monetary tightening. As for the road transport sector, it must cope with the economic downturn, while facing the unpredictability of its costs or the imperatives of decarbonisation.”

Very different forecasts relating to the international operations of transport and logistics companies such as Relay. This is because events have placed us in an unpredictable world economic and market environment, but the reason that leading players in this sector have survived and thrived is that their adherence to basic service principles remains unchanged in an uncertain and febrile world order.

Structural resilience

Like other leading transport and logistics companies, the attention we give to every detail and to every stage of the consignments in our charge is meticulous. This includes using the most appropriate vehicles for any given delivery. For instance, for UK deliveries, we acquired two Mercedes-Benz 18-tonne side-loading trucks, enabling loading and unloading to be undertaken more easily by forklifts. As the vulnerable electronics equipment we handle is frequently very bulky, this is an excellent way of delivering it safely to point of end use.

But both at home and abroad, we have the skills and experience in place, backed by advanced track and trace technology, to give us the structural resilience to meet the challenges of an ever-changing worldwide market environment. The logistics sector has shown itself capable of meeting potential setbacks time and time again, and we believe will inevitably continue to do so!