Inside Logistics

Execs optimistic that trade will bounce back

Senior executives who make international trade decisions are optimistic that global commerce will bounce back quickly after the pandemic


February 25, 2021
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Senior executives who make international trade decisions are optimistic that global commerce will bounce back quickly after the pandemic.

A study commissioned by DP World and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 70 percent of businesses predict trade will recover to pre-pandemic levels more quickly than recovery after the financial crisis of 2008, which took two years and two months. Nearly a third thought the recovery would be twice as fast, with trade returning to pre-pandemic levels within a year.

The survey also showed that the pandemic has brought lasting change to the way companies do business. Eighty-three percent of executives indicated that they are in the process of reconfiguring their supply chains by switching or adding new suppliers, using different logistics providers, and/or changing production or purchasing locations.

Despite the widespread economic impact of the pandemic, 42 percent of respondents stated that their firm’s international revenues expanded in the first half of 2020. Nineteen percent reported no change from the previous year. These figures are encouraging at a time when only one of the world’s major economies, China, is registering economic growth.

The research was based on two global surveys of senior executives involved in their firms’ day-to-day international trade decisions and transactions. The first survey of 3,000 respondents was conducted between January and March 2020. The second survey, of 800 respondents, was conducted between October and November 2020.