DHL survey reports bullishness amongst exporters

Exporting firms look increasingly to social media for business opportunities

DHL survey reports bullishness amongst exporters
DHL’s window on exporters' destinations.


Transport and logistics firms used to mainly one-way traffic from ports may need to exercise their muscles going the other way, according to DHL’s latest survey.

The company reports the highest level of exporter confidence since aftermath of global financial crisis (GFC).

At 66 per cent, those expect orders to increase over the coming year were topped only twice since the survey began in 2003, in 2007 and 2010 at 69 per cent.

This year’s level pips 2004’s 65 per cent to be the second-highest yet, though it will be noted that 2010’s figure was followed by 48 per cent the following year.

The DHL Export Barometer’s headline findings are:

  • More than half (53 per cent) of Australian exporters saw increased orders in the past year
  • North America (53 per cent) is creeping up on New Zealand (57 per cent) as top Australian export destination
  • Australian exporters are supporting the push for free trade agreements (FTAs), with the one with China (ChAFTA) seen as positive by 49 per cent and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) growing in popularity
  • Weakening Australian dollar has allowed exporters to compete more effectively with overseas companies but a growing number of Australian exporters (80 per cent) also import.

"The 2015 DHL Export Barometer shows Australian exporter confidence is on the rise," DHL Express Oceania senior vice president Gary Edstein says.

"This year, two-thirds of exporters predict an increase in sales over the next 12 months, an increase of five per cent from last year and a significant improvement following the GFC when fewer than half of Australian exporters had an optimistic view of the coming year.

"The expectation that company performance will improve has also increased significantly since last year, with 58 per cent of exporters predicting higher profitability in the next year.

"Correspondingly, an increasing number of exporters think the number of employees and wages paid are likely to grow."

This is the second year the DHL Export Barometer has examined social media use among exporters as the social revolution becomes more prolific, particularly in the South East Asian markets.

While only a slight increase was shown in the number of companies using social media to stimulate export sales from last year, 37 to 38 per cent, the average number of social channels has increased.

"Figures show 71 per cent of Aussie exporters are now using Facebook, 39 per cent using LinkedIn, 32 per cent active on Google+ and 30 per cent tweeting with customers on Twitter," the survey reports.

Despite the popularity of the Instagram community among its 200 million plus users, it appears that exporters haven't yet committed to the image led platform for sales generation, although this channel has achieved the largest growth this year (from 18 per cent to 29 per cent).

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