Logistics Numbers Reflect Summer Dog Days

The following highlights of the most recent logistics numbers (from the Logistics Market Snapshot, courtesy of the Georgia Center of Innovation) show little change from the last highlight report, but more troubling is the Purchasing Managers Index descent below 50 for the first time since June 2009.

Transportation Indexes:

• The Dow Jones Transportation index was up 2.5% during June (based on the stock performance of twenty large, well-known U.S. companies in the transportation industry, average of June 10th thru July 10th);

• NASDAQ Transportation Index decreased 2% in June (Averaged share weights of NASDAQ-listed companies classified as transportation companies, average of June 10th thru July 10th);

• The USDOT's freight transportation services index remained unchanged in May following an increase of 0.2% in April 2012. The Index’s reading of 109.6 was 4.3% higher year-over-year (Source: US DOT);

• The June shipments index rose 1.3% over the previous month and decreased 1.3% year-over-year. The June expenditures index decreased 0.1% for the month, and increased 0.9% 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 May, the U.S. imported about $232 billion of cargo, the second highest on record. May U.S. imports have decreased 0.7% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 3.8% year-over-year. (Source: US Census);

• In May U.S. exported more than $183 billion of cargo, the second highest amount on record. May U.S. exports have increased 0.2% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 4.2% year-over-year. (Source: US Census);

• U.S. import prices decreased 2.7% in June, after declining 1.2% the previous month. Import prices fell 2.6 %over the past year. The price index for U.S. exports fell 1.7% in June, following a 0.4% decrease in May (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Employment:

• The unemployment rate in America remained at 8.2%in June 2012.
Approximately 80,000 net new jobs were created in June, up from 77,000 new jobs created in May. (Source: US DOL)

• The trucking industry added 2,000 jobs in June. The trucking workforce increased 0.15% over the previous month and rose 3.1% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. DOL)

Rail:

• Railroad bulk carload freight in June 2012 increased 2.9% from May 2012. Freight traffic in June fell 1.3% from June 2011. The decrease in freight rail traffic was mainly due to another 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 June 2012 was 5.2% higher than June 2011 and 3.8% lower than May 2012 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 31 straight months (Source: AAR.org);

Trucking:

• Over-the-Road Trucked Shipments rose 0.8% in June 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 0.7% in May after falling 1.1% in April. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 4.1% year-over-year. (Source: American Trucking Association | Trucking.org);

• The spot market for truckload freight in June rose 1.3% compared to the previous month, and was 13% higher year-over-year. Truck capacity fell 3.5% for the month, but was up 17% year-over-year (Source: TransCore Freight Index, www.transcorefreightsolutions.com);

Air:

• Global air freight in May fell 0.4% from one year ago and was down 1.9% from the previous month. North American air freight in May fell 1.9% 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 decreased 3.7% in June from the previous month and rose 4.4% from the previous year. YTD June had the second highest number of TEU imports, with over 1.54 million TEUs imported. (Source: Zepol Corporation | zepol.com)

Warehousing:

• The U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 9.1% during Q2 2012, remaining the same as the previous quarter. (Source: Cassidy Turley);

Purchasing Managers Index:

• The National PMI fell 3.8 points to 49.7 in June 2012, the Index’s first time under 50 since June 2009. New orders decreased 12.3 points to 47.8 and production fell 4.6 points to 51.0. (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:

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

Import/Export Records Set in First Quarter 2012

First Quarter 2012 Offers Positive Economics

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