Logistics service providers have faltering confidence for business conditions in the first quarter of 2023, according to a measure of business sentiment created by the Florida-based third-party logistics provider (3PL) BlueGrace Logistics.
Respondents to a BlueGrace survey showed softening sentiment for their revenue and inventory forecasts for the coming quarter, although they predicted a steady rate of orders. All three variables are forecasted to stay positive, although at a slower rate than previous quarters, the company found.
The results come from BlueGrace’s Logistics Confidence Index (LCI), which the company has compiled for three quarters but just released publicly for the first time. The LCI measures expected industry expansion or contraction based on revenue forecasts, inventory levels, and order volumes. Data is aggregated through a survey of shippers and reflects all road modes of transport. The data correlates growth or shrinkage to overall industry volume of shipments and price of products.
According to BlueGrace, those benchmarks provide shippers predictive insight into what could be expected in future market cycles beginning Q1 2023, giving shippers salient data to plan for improved customer experience, capacity management, and budgeting variances. “Creating the BlueGrace Logistics Confidence Index supports the application of predictive and prescriptive analytics," Bobby Harris, CEO and Founder of BlueGrace Logistics, said in a release. “It’s a resource that can forwardly measure anticipated organizational growth, renewal, and resiliency.”
The survey trend mirrors several other recent economic measures that show slowing growth rates for the sector, including maritime container volumes, freight rate forecasts, and the Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI).