The logistics industry is growing, but at a slower rate compared to 2018, according to the February Logistics Manager's Index report (LMI), released this month by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
The February LMI registered 61.9, down from January's reading of 63.3 and down from a reading of 68.9 a year ago, researchers said. The LMI remained above 66 from January through November 2018, slipping to 63.54 in December. Although slowing, the LMI remains firmly in growth territory, as a reading above 50 indicates expansion in the logistics sector and a reading below 50 indicates contraction, according to CSCMP researchers.
The LMI tracks trends in inventory, warehousing and transportation. In February, all cost- and price-related variables were down slightly, although still well above the 50-point mark indicating expansion, the group said. Warehouse capacity contracted during the month, continuing a trend that began in October, while transportation capacity expanded. Inventories continued to grow during the month, and inventory cost continued to increase, although at a slowing rate, researchers said.
Logistics executives surveyed for the monthly report said they anticipate solid growth ahead for 2019, researchers also said.
"Looking forward, respondents predict the overall LMI will continue to grow over the next year, predicting an overall index score of 63.1," researchers said in a statement announcing the monthly findings. "This indicates an expectation of steady if unspectacular growth in the logistics industry through 2019."
The LMI score is a combination of eight components that make up the logistics industry, including: inventory levels and costs; warehousing capacity, utilization and prices; and transportation capacity, utilization and prices. CSCMP conducts the monthly survey of more than 100 logistics executives in conjunction with researchers from Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rutgers University and the University of Nevada, Reno.