Seko remains cautiously optimistic for second half

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Seko Logistics is cautiously optimistic for the second half of the year despite weakening market conditions in the first half and uncertainty around consumer spending.

Speaking during a company webinar, Seko chief executive and president James Gagne said that the outlook for the second half of 2023 had weakened since the end of last year.

He said the market was currently characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Despite this, the company was still cautiously optimistic for the coming six months.  

Gagne said that inflation had “continued to move in the right direction” in April.

He added that there were also some signs that the high inventory levels experienced over recent months were beginning to ease.

However, both inventories and inflation remain high and the company is not expecting a pronounced peak season.

On the other hand, the number of new product launches has been restrained in the recent past and there is a pent-up consumer demand for new products.

“When we start to see more new products coming into the market, that is going to drive behaviour with the consumer that we may not see manifested in today’s data, so we are holding out expecting to see some of that,” said Gagne.

This would particularly benefit the airfreight market, he added.

On the supply side, Seko chief growth officer Brian Bourke said that the capacity situation in airfreight had improved on a lot of trade lanes in recent months as passenger operations had got back underway but there were still some trade lanes where capacity was still an issue.

He said that there were even still some preighter aircraft – passenger planes being used only to carry cargo – still in use.

Gagne added that some freighters were being kept in the air because of concerns over future supply chain disruption and uncertainty during the peak.

He explained that if the operations were withdrawn, it would not be easy to restart them – due to landing rights and regulatory requirements – if they are needed later in the year.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]