E-Commerce Sales Growing 10% a Year

This channel is expected to represent 30% of total retail sales by 2030.

This country’s most recent logistics numbers (from the Logistics Market Snapshot, courtesy of the Georgia Center of Innovation) show rising retail sales and employment among its highlights. Specifically,

• E-commerce sales in 2012 in the U.S. reached $225 million, or 5.2% of total retail sales. E-commerce sales are increasing at 10% a year and are expected to total $1.2 trillion, or 30% of total retail sales, in 2030. (Source: National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education);

• On May 1, the number of freight rail cars in storage had decreased to 302,833 (20.3% of the fleet), down 8,616 cars from a month earlier. (Source: AAR.org) (A freight car is "in storage" if it has had a loaded revenue move since 2005, but not in the past 60 days. Decrease here = more demand);

• The unemployment rate in America decreased to 7.5% in April 2013 as there were 165,000 net new jobs.  The trucking industry alone added 11,700 of these, 3.4% higher than last year. (Source: US DOL)

Here are the other market highlights:

Transportation Indexes:

• Dow Jones Transportation index rose 3.1% during the month of April. (Stock performance of twenty large, well-known U.S. companies in the transportation industry, average of April 10th thru May 10th);

• NASDAQ Transportation Index increased 0.4% in April. (Averaged share weights of NASDAQ-listed companies classified as transportation companies, average of April 10th thru May 10th);

• The USDOT's freight transportation services index rose 0.3% in March 2013. The index’s reading of 113.7 was up 2.8% from March 2012. (Source: US DOT);

• The April shipments index fell 3.5% over the previous month and fell 1.3% year-over-year. The April expenditures index decreased 1.6% for the month, and decreased 0.5% 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:

• Import shipment volume, in TEUs, at U.S. ports increased 22.7% in April from the previous month and rose 1.3% year-over-year. Imports in April were the highest since 2007. (Source: Zepol Corporation | zepol.com);

• Import volume through major U.S. container ports is expected to increase 3.3% in May. In March, the latest month for which numbers are available, U.S. container ports handled 1.14million TEUs, an 8.6% decrease over the same month last year. Total U.S. containerized imports are expected to increase 7.8% during the first half of 2013. (Source: NRF/Hackett Associates);

• In April, every ocean carrier in the top 20 posted increases in TEUs from March. Maersk Line had a 19.4% increase from last month and APL Co. rose by 25.9%. The largest increase in the top 10 was China Ocean Shipping Company, posting a 47% rise in U.S. cargo imports. (Source: Zepol Corporation | zepol.com);

Employment:

• The unemployment rate in America decreased to 7.5% in April 2013 as there were 165,000 net new jobs. (Source: US DOL);

• The trucking industry gained 11,700 jobs in April. The trucking workforce increased 0.9% over the previous month and increased 3.4% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics);

Rail:

• Railroad bulk carload freight in April 2013 fell 1.2% from March 2013. Freight traffic in April fell 0.4% from April 2012. Carloads excluding coal and grain increased 2% over the previous year. (Source: AAR.org)(Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units);

• Intermodal rail traffic in April 2013 was 1.6% higher than in April 2012 and 0.2% higher than March 2013 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 41 straight months. (Source: AAR.org)(Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units);

Trucking:

• The ATA’s seasonally adjusted cargo index rose 0.9% in March after falling 0.7% in February. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 3.8% year-over-year. (Source: American Trucking Association | Trucking.org);

• The spot market for truckload freight in April fell 13% compared to the previous month, and was 23% lower year-over-year. Truck capacity rose 3.7% for the month, and was up 24% year-over-year. (Source: TransCore Freight Index | www.transcorefreightsolutions.com);

Air:

• Global air freight traffic in March decreased 2.3% from one year ago, and fell 0.2% from the previous month. North American air freight in March fell 5.2% 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 March, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport transported 56,265 metric tons of cargo, a 17% increase from the previous month and a 0.8% decrease year-over-year. (Source: HJIA);

Ocean:

• Import shipment volume, in TEUs, at U.S. ports increased 22.7% in April from the previous month and rose 1.3% year-over-year. Imports in April were the highest since 2007. (Source: Zepol Corporation | zepol.com);

Warehousing:

• The U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 8.5% during Q1 2013, down from 8.7% in the previous quarter. (Source: Cassidy Turley);

• In Q1 2013, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the US averaged $5.07 per square foot. (Source: Cassidy Turley);

Purchasing Managers Index:

• The National PMI fell 0.6 points to 50.7 in April 2013. New orders rose 0.9 points to 52.3 and production increased 1.3 points to 53.5. (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.).

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