From January to February 2022, China’s total social logistics volume was RMB51.8 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 7.2% based on comparable prices. The growth rate of total social logistics volume continued the rebound trend since the fourth quarter of last year, and was significantly higher than the level in 2019 before the epidemic, indicating that the overall logistics needs was still on the recovery path, and the logistics operation started smoothly.
From the perspective of structure, internally, the effect of the policy of expanding domestic demand and promoting consumption continued to emerge, and the demand for industrial and consumer logistics maintained rapid growth; Externally, the global economic cycle has not yet returned to normal, and the logistics needs of import continue to fall.
Industrial logistics demand is growing rapidly, and new momentum continues to increase.
Structurally, new growth drivers continue to develop, which enhances the support for industrial logistics demand. The high-tech manufacturing industry and equipment manufacturing industry continued to grow rapidly. From January to February, the total logistics volume of high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing industries increased by 14.4% and 9.6% year-on-year respectively, and the growth rate was 2.3% and 3.4% faster than that in last December.
In terms of industries, computer communications, other electronic equipment manufacturing, electrical machinery, equipment manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and instrumentation manufacturing all achieved double-digit growth, and the growth rates all accelerated month-on-month. In addition, the automobile manufacturing industry grew by 7.2% on a year-on-year basis, 4.4 percentage points faster than that in December of the previous year. In particular, the output of new energy vehicles grew by 150.5% on a year-on-year basis, continuing to grow at a high rate on the basis of the doubled growth in the previous year.
The recovery of people’s livelihood consumer logistics needs is accelerating, and new types of business continue to develop
From January to February, driven by online promotion factors such as the “Online New Year’s Shopping Festival”, the logistics needs for consumer goods manufacturing at the production end have accelerated, and the logistics needs for e-commerce and online shopping etc. on the sales side has not diminished. From the perspective of production, the recovery of the consumer goods manufacturing industry is accelerating. From January to February, the logistics needs of the consumer goods manufacturing industry increased by 9.7% year-on-year, which is 5.2 percentage points faster than the two-year average growth rate in 2020-2021.
From the perspective of the sales side, the new types of business still plays a significant role in helping. In January-February, the total amount of goods logistics of units and residents increased by 10.5% year-on-year; Among them, the online retail sales of physical goods increased by 12.3% year-on-year. The e-commerce logistics index shows that the e-commerce logistics industry volume in the first two months increased by more than 25% year-on-year, and the rural business volume also increased by nearly 25%, maintaining a rapid growth trend.
Incremental decline in import prices, and logistics needs continues to fall
Since the fourth quarter of last year, international commodity prices have continued to rise, which has had a certain impact on China’s relevant imports. Data show that from January to February, the volume of imported logistics fell by 3.5% year-on-year, falling for five consecutive months. However, it should also be noted that the decline of import logistics volume has narrowed since this year. With the gradual recovery of China’s economy and supply chain in the future, the import scale will also expand.
From the perspective of import structure, the import volume of crude oil, coal, lignite and steel all decreased, and the cumulative year-on-year decrease was 4.9%, 14.0% and 7.9% respectively; The demand for meat imports among agricultural products maintained a downward trend, down 33% year-on-year.
Scale expansion of the logistics market and accelerated consolidation of the industry
The scale of the logistics market continues to expand and the industry consolidation is accelerating. Since 2021, the logistics industry market has continued to expand, and the growth rate of total logistics industry revenue has also maintained a relatively high level. In January-February, logistics industry’s total revenue was RMB1.6 trillion, up 9.7 percent from a year earlier, faster than pre-epidemic levels in 2019.
With the development and growth of new drivers, the structure of logistics needs is constantly changing, which puts forward higher requirements for logistics service. Especially since the epidemic, the transformation and upgrading of the logistics industry has accelerated significantly, and the logistics market entered a period of accelerated integration. The revenue proportion of the top 50 logistics enterprises in China has risen to the level of *** in recent years, and the overall industrial concentration has been steadily improved. Leading enterprises in sub-sectors such as express delivery have further promoted the industry concentration through mergers and reorganizations. According to * * * post office data, the express delivery and parcel service brand concentration index CR8 from January to February is 85.3, which is a significant increase from the whole year of 2021 and the same period.
The transportation business grew rapidly, and the logistics enterprises operated more efficiently. From the perspective of physical volume, the freight volume of the whole society in February increased by 15.5% year-on-year, of which the road freight volume increased by 21.1%. From the perspective of enterprise business, the total business index in February did not fall but rose, and the index rebounded by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month to 51.2%. Since February, driven by factors such as the resumption of work and production, the physical volume of logistics industry and the business volume of enterprises have maintained a good growth trend, while logistics has maintained a relatively efficient operation efficiency. In February, the capital turnover rate index and equipment utilization rate index in the logistics prosperity index both rebounded by 0.1 percentage points month-on-month and remained above 50% for six consecutive months, reflecting that enterprises have actively improved the efficiency of capital use and the timeliness of logistics equipment operations. The tight balance between the supply and demand of personnel in two months has played a certain role in regulating.
On the whole, the macro economy continued to recover in the first two months of this year, and the growth rate of logistics needs remained at a relatively good level. From the perspective of market demand and expectations, the new order index and business activity expectation index in the logistics prosperity index were 50.2% and 59.7% respectively, both higher than the previous month. Among them, the expected index of business activities has been operating at a high level for two consecutive months. It shows that logistics companies have good expectations for the development of the industry.
However, it should also be noted that since March, unstable and uncertain factors have increased, and it is more difficult for logistics industry to ensure the stability of the industrial chain and supply chain.
In terms of the external environment, the impact of the epidemic in some areas is still ongoing, and the development level of all industries and regions is uneven. At the same time, geopolitical conflicts are still continuing, which may lead to poor cross-border logistics channels in the European direction, tight transport capacity, rising freight rate, and increase of the pressure to maintain supply and stabilize price due to the supply chain impact on the key commodities, requiring follow-up analysis and close attention.
From the perspective of market vitality, the operating costs of logistics companies are rising, and the pressure of rising raw material and labor costs has increased. The foundation for the overall recovery of the industry needs to be further consolidated:
First, the linkage between logistics service price and cost is weak. Although the cost of raw materials such as oil prices continued to rise, the price of logistics service did not see a significant increase. The service price index in the logistics prosperity index in February did not rise but fell by 0.2 percentage points, and the freight rate of road logistics and coastal bulk fell month on month, which showed that the bargaining power of the industry was low under the current homogeneous competition of freight services, and there was a certain lag in the linkage between cost and logistics service price.
Second, the industry’s profitability is under further pressure. Key survey data show that from January to February key logistics enterprises’ logistics business costs increased by 17.3, the cost of operating income of RMB100 is RMB90.7, increased by 1%, and significantly higher than the average level of industrial enterprises above designated size. Among them, due to factors such as rising commodity prices and structural labor shortages, fuel costs and labor costs have risen by more than double digits. From the perspective of profitability, the loss of key logistics enterprises in January and February was nearly 30%, a YoY increase of 2.5 percentage points, indicating that the operating pressure of logistics enterprises has increased, leading to further compression of profit space. The overall revenue profit margin was around 3%, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from the same period of the previous year. Among them, the damage to small, medium and micro logistics enterprises is more obvious. The profit margin of small and micro logistics enterprises is less than 3%, which is lower than that of the same period last year, and there is a big gap with large and medium-sized enterprises.