Confidence among senior managers in the UK logistics industry remains high, but has fallen slightly since 2014, according to the twice-yearly UK Logistics Confidence Index commissioned by Barclays and Moore Stephens.

In the survey of more than 100 senior decision-makers in January and February 2015, the index fell to 69.2 from 71.4 in summer 2014. More than four-fifths (81%) of respondents expected to increase turnover in the coming year, with two-thirds (67%) expecting to boost profit.

The number of businesses planning to make an acquisition rose to 31% from 24% in the previous survey.

Philip Bird, senior director of Moore Stephens Corporate Finance, said recent surveys had indicated high levels of confidence and this was being reflected in increased mergers and acquisitions. These include the takeover of TNT by FedEx and XPO’s move on Norbert Dentressangle.

“There have been two mega-deals in the past few weeks,” he said. “I can’t remember any such deals in the previous six years. We are also seeing increased mid-range M&A activity.”

Rob Riddleston, head of transport and logistics at Barclays, said more consolidation in the sector was inevitable. “It is getting difficult to compete so medium-size companies are buying smaller players.”

Almost half of the respondents (49%) cited the skills shortage as their most pressing problem.