2011 Logistics Spend was 8.5% of U.S. GDP

CSCMP released its Annual State of Logistics Report last week. MH&L will include a full report and analysis in its August issue, but here are some highlights:

• Total 2011 U.S. logistics spend was estimated at $1.28 trillion up 6.6% over 2010 (and 17% above 2009)
• This equates to 8.5% of the U.S. GDP (equivalent to 2003 % levels)
• The three main categories involved in “logistics spend” include:

--Inventory Carrying: $417.3B(32.6% of the total, includes the costs of warehousing)
--Transportation: $803.8B(62.8% of the total)
--Administrative: $58.9B(4.6% of the total, mostly logistics IT spend not otherwise captured)

• Transportation spend was up 6.2%in 2011
• Rail spend was up 15.3% in 2011
• Warehousing spend was up 7.6% in 2011
• Trucking comprises 78% of the transportation total (and 49% of overall logistics spend)

For current logistics numbers, here are highlights from the latest Logistics Market Snapshot, courtesy of the Georgia Center of Innovation.

Transportation Indexes:

• The Dow Jones Transportation index was down 1,4% during May (based on the stock performance of twenty large, well-known U.S. companies in the transportation industry, average of May 10th thru June 10th);
• NASDAQ Transportation Index remained decreased 3.1% in May (Averaged share weights of NASDAQ-listed companies classified as transportation companies, average of May 10th thru June 10th);
• The USDOT's freight transportation services index rose 0.2% in April 2012 following an decrease of 0.8% in March. The Index’s reading of 109.6 was 2.5% higher year-over-year (Source: US DOT);
• The May shipments index rose 1.8% over the previous month and increased 2.2% year-over-year. The May expenditures index increased 2.2% for the month, and increased 5.6% year over year (Source: Cass Information Systems, Cassinfo.com, based upon transportation dollars and shipments of Cass clients comprised of over 400 shipping companies);

Imports and Exports:

• In April, the U.S. imported about $233 billion of cargo, the second highest on record. April U.S. imports have decreased 1.7% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 6.3% year-over-year. (Source: US Census);
• In April U.S. exported more than $182.9 billion of cargo, also the second highest on record. April U.S. exports have decreased 0.8% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 4.1% year-over-year. (Source: US Census);
• U.S. import prices decreased 1% in May, after recording no change the previous month. Import prices fell 0.3 %over the past year. The price index for U.S. exports fell 0.4%in May, following a 0.4% increase in April (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Employment:

• The unemployment rate in America rose to 8.2%in May 2012, up from 8.1% from the previous month.
Approximately 69,000 net new jobswere created in May, down from 77,000 new jobscreated in April. (Source: US DOL)
• The trucking industry added 7,300 jobsin May. The trucking workforce increased 0.5%over the previous
month and rose 3.4%over the previous year. (Source: U.S. DOL)

Rail:

• Railroad bulk carload freight in May 2012 increased 1.8% from April 2012. Freight traffic in May fell 2.8% from May 2011. The decrease in freight rail traffic was mainly due to a decline in coal and grain shipments. Carloads excluding coal increased 4.2% over the previous year. (Source: AAR.org; this report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units);
• Intermodal rail traffic in May 2012 was 3.5% higher than May 2011 and 0.6% lower than April 2012 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 30 straight months (Source: AAR.org);

Trucking:

• Over-the-Road Trucked Shipments rose 0.8% in May following a 0.1% increase in April a 0.3% increase in March. Overall trucked shipments decreased 0.6% on a year-over-year basis. (Source: Ceridianindex.com, from the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index which is based on real-time fuel consumption data for over the road trucking);
• The ATA’s seasonally adjusted cargo index fell 1.1% in April. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 3.5% year-over-year. (Source: American Trucking Association | Trucking.org);
• The spot market for truckload freight in May rose 2% compared to the previous month, and was 12% higher year-over-year. Truck capacity rose 6.8% for the month, and was up 21% year-over-year (Source: TransCore Freight Index, www.transcorefreightsolutions.com);

Air:

• Global air freight in April fell 4.2% from one year ago and was down 1.1% from the previous month. North American air freight in April fell 8.2% year-over-year. (Source: IATA.org; global air freight covers international and domestic scheduled air traffic. North American traffic includes only domestic freight traffic.)
• In April, average international air cargo prices dipped 0.8% from the previous month. Average air freight rates were down 3.6% year-over-year. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Ocean:

• Import shipment volume, in TEUs, at U.S. ports increased 5.6% in May from the previous month and rose 3.5% from the previous year. May has shown the highest number of TEU imports, with over 1.6 million TEUs imported. (Source: Zepol Corporation | zepol.com)

Warehousing:

• The U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 9.66% during Q1 2012, down from 9.78% in the previous quarter. (Source: Cushman & Wakefield);

Purchasing Manager’s Index:

• The National PMI fell 1.3 points to 53.5 in May 2012. The May PMI has indicated expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 34th consecutive month. New orders increased 1.9 points to 60.1 and production fell 5.4 points to 55.6. (Source: Institute for Supply Management; The PMI combines data on new orders, inventory, production, supplier deliveries, and employment. A reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.)

Related Editorial:

Import/Export Records Set in First Quarter 2012

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