- The automotive industry is driving moderate trade growth in Japan, according to an analysis from DHL's Global Trade Barometer, via an email to Supply Chain Dive.
- Growth in the air freight and ocean shipping industries also remains stable.
- DHL's Global Trade Barometer, which launched early this year, uses artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and predictive analytics to measure trade growth.
Economic growth fueled by the auto industry seems paradoxical, given a weaker demand for cars within Japan, according to DHL.
However, the logistics and transportation required to transport raw materials related to the auto industry are behind the boost to the economy. Auto supply chains are among the most complex in the world, with several parts and numerous tiers of suppliers required to build a vehicle.
Japan's auto exports have risen significantly in the past two years, DHL's press release stated, and manufacturing is currently at a four-year high. The export rate rose 9.3% percent year-on-year in December, after a 16.2% gain in November. The value of December's exports reached 7.3 trillion yen ($66.27 billion), an amount last seen in September 2008, immediately prior to the global recession.
Given Japan's geography, the island nation relies heavily on air and ocean transport to trade with other nations. And as Japan and 10 other nations sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership, trade is likely to grow further, creating greater demand for air cargo and ocean shipping.