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WILTSHIRE, UK-Research on European logistics by Transport Intelligence (TI) reveals that the pharmaceutical logistics industry has been the least affected by the economic downturn, while the automotive sector has been the most affected. The report, released at the end of September, says non-durable consumer goods, including grocery products, have also fared comparably well.

According to TI, pharmaceutical output has not only remained stable but continued to grow. While non-durable consumer goods have contracted since Q3 2008, the sector has not experienced the dramatic shifts experienced by other industries. By contrast, the consumer durables, high-tech and automotive logistics sectors have suffered greatly. Whereas grocery production is down just 5% since mid ’08, consumer durables are down 22%. As for high-tech, production volumes in that sector fell 21% in Q2 alone, compared to last year. The contraction was greater than that following the dot-com collapse. The performance of the automotive sector was even more dismal, with Q2 production falling 34% on a year-over-year basis.

“These figures reflect very well the performance of the logistics market in Europe,” observes TI chief analyst John Manners-Bell. “Operators with retail and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) clients have stood up well to the economic difficulties. They may only achieve low margins in the good times, but they have defensive business models which have allowed them to survive the present challenges. Unfortunately we can see that those exposed to the automotive, consumer durables and high tech sectors have been far worse affected.”

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