According to the latest report published by Ti, Global Contract Logistics 2015, the global contract logistics market grew by 5.4% in 2014, to reach just under US$200 billion.
If prices and exchange rates were held constant at 2013 levels, the market would have expanded by 4.4%.
Despite this, overall contract logistics growth of 5.4% compares favourably to growth of 2.8% in 2013.
The increase was largely driven by the performance of the largest markets (Western Europe, the US and China). Together, these markets accounted for around 65% of the global contract logistics market.
The real turnaround was the strengthening of the European economy, which was a critical factor in the growth of the overall contract logistics market.
The US contract logistics market also enjoyed a strong year in 2014 where market dynamics in the US contract logistics sector boosted growth.
Chinese growth was also a key driver of the global contract logistics market. China’s market size is thought to have grown by 17.7% year-on-year to reach around $21.2 million.
Industry reports show that measures of capacity utilisation, inventory turnover, average inventory, new orders and logistics service charges were all higher on average in 2014.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Ti analyst, David Buckby, said: ‘The contract logistics market has really benefited from stronger economic fundamentals in most key markets. We have also seen the positive influence of trends such as e-retail which has increased the role and importance of logistics.
“We believe that global contract logistics growth will steadily accelerate in the coming years, although this relies heavily on European and US economic performance improving and merely a gradual slowdown of the Chinese economy.’