DHL launches “Global Trade Barometer”

DHL launched an index, the “Global Trade Barometer” both for measurement of economic growth (based on import and export data for select commodities) and for prediction of the impact of the current environment on demand for air and ocean freight.

The Barometer, which saw its first release this month, uses data from 2013 onward. It will be published quarterly, and measures the growth of global trade on a scale in which scores above 50 indicate expansion of global trade, while scores below 50 show that trade is shrinking.

In the first release, the barometer registered 64, which, although it was “slightly below the values calculated for previous months,” nonetheless indicates healthy expansion of global trade.

Looking specifically at the impact of current conditions on the air freight industry, DHL said: “The global outlook for air trade has dropped by -2 points, but continues to predict positive growth with a value of 71. The drop is mainly due to a decline in US and German air trade with -4 and -3 points, respectively.”

Turning to ocean freight, the January index value, while still positive at 60, was not as strong as for air. DHL said the ocean index was down slightly (1 point) compared to December, adding that “the main reason for this is a rather steep decline in Chinese ocean trade, with -7 points since November of last year; indicators for all other countries point upwards.”

Needless to say, there is considerably more information about the barometer on the website Deutsche Post-DHL has set up for the index. You can view that site here. And DHL Global Forwarding CEO Tim Scharwath has written an interesting introduction to the project, which you can read here, and from which we excerpt the following quote:

“Global trade is the fuel that drives the world economy. And when the world trades,
the growth that follows stretches well beyond pure economics. Ideas spread and
communities thrive. People’s lives improve.”

Interested in learning more about the future prospects of the air freight and express industry? Then  join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018, where senior executives from all branches of the industry will share their views about what to expect in 2018 and beyond.

Cargo Facts Asia will be held 23-25 April, at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai. For more information, or to register, visit

Exit mobile version