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Bullish Sentiment Dominates Logistics Industry As Operations Target Growth Opportunities

Business restrictions and border closures haven’t dampened the enthusiasm of Australian transport and warehouse operations with the latest CartonCloud Logistics Index (CCLI) showing high industry optimism and strong growth expectations.

The second edition of the CartonCloud Logistics Index hit the pulse of storage and transport companies in the second quarter of 2021. Fifty-two respondents provided feedback on terms and conditions, workforce and hiring prospects, growth, opportunities and challenges.

CartonCloud founder Vincent Fletcher said the latest CCLI provided deep insight into sentiment into the industry and the opportunities and challenges facing businesses. “

The logistics industry continues to go from strength to strength and this quarter demonstrated high optimism for the current economic climate,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Australia is relying on the local logistics industry now more than ever and that means more business, stable jobs and more growth opportunities. “Businesses are forecasting growth for the rest of 2021, although there’s slightly lower optimism for hiring compared to the first quarter.

“The reduction in hiring expectations could be a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions and economic impacts, but it may also mean businesses have fulfilled the hiring intentions they had in the previous quarter.

“Overall, the economic shifts, government stimulus and changes to business practices in response to the pandemic have had a neutral or slightly positive net impact on the logistics industry.

“This has offset many of the negative effects from business restrictions and border closures.

“The CCLI also put a spotlight on environmentally friendly practices in the industry and the Q2 results show a clear opportunity for improvement.

“Switching to paperless technology is the most likely investment businesses are targeting to improve environmental practices.

“The results of the index point towards a robust industry capitalising on economic conditions with strong confidence for the future.”


Economic climate

Overall sentiment regarding the current economic climate for this quarter has remained broadly stable since last quarter, with overall optimism declining slightly (3%). Around 70% of management positions consider the current economic climate to be good or very good, while most operational staff respond neutral (40%) or good (40%). An additional 20% of respondents in operational roles felt the current climate was bad.

Business performance expectations

The outlook on expected business performance over the next six months remains high for respondents across all job types. The majority (73%) of respondents this quarter believe their businesses will perform well or very well in the next six months. In particular, senior managers, owners and supervisors were considerably more optimistic about business prospects than operations, drivers and warehouse functions over the next six months.

Hiring intentions

Q2 saw a significant drop in hiring expectations compared to Q1 across the industry, impacting the overall industry sentiment index score.  This result shows that although there is still an overall relatively positive outlook on expected business performance, respondents are less likely to hire new staff in the coming six months than in the previous quarter. 

Impact of COVID-19

A significant 75% of respondents had a neutral to a positive outlook on the impact on their business — demonstrating the industry has not only been able to maintain business but, in some cases, have seen a positive impact on their business. 

How Data Informs Business And Operation Decisions

63% of respondents said they used data most or all of the time to inform business and operational decisions.  This quarter found the most common roles to use data in decision making were senior management and business owners. A significant 70% of respondents in these roles used data to inform business decisions all or most of the time. 

Sustainability and Environmental Impact 

Second quarter respondents highlighted the opportunity to improve green practices across the board. There were no respondents who thought their business was very good at following environmentally friendly practices. While most respondents (82%) felt that their operations were okay or better in terms of environmental impact and sustainability, the results show a clear opportunity to improve the practices further. Fortunately, most of the answers were okay (51%) or good (31%) and only 2% thought their operating practices were very bad.

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry.

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