February Intermodal Rail Traffic Up 10.5% over Year Ago

The latest shipment index and transportation employment numbers are also up.

This country’s most recent logistics numbers (from the Logistics Market Snapshot, courtesy of the Georgia Center of Innovation) show growth in intermodal transportation and shrinkage in unemployment.

• Intermodal rail traffic in February 2013 was 10.5% higher than in February 2012 and 3% higher than January 2013 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 39 straight months. 

• The trucking industry added 5,600 jobs in February. The trucking workforce increased 0.4% over the previous month and rose 3.2% over the previous year.  (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

• The unemployment rate in America decreased to 7.7% in February 2013 as there were 236,000 net new jobs. (Source: US DOL)

• The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 69.6 in February 2013, up from 58.4 in January 2013.

Here are the other market highlights:

Transportation Indexes:

• Dow Jones Transportation index rose 3.9% during the month of February. (Stock performance of twenty large, well-known U.S. companies in the transportation industry, average of February 10th thru March 10th)

• NASDAQ Transportation Index decreased 1% in February. (Averaged share weights of NASDAQ-listed companies classified as transportation companies, average of February 10th thru March 10th)

• The USDOT's freight transportation services rose 1.2% in January 2013. The index’s reading of 111.3 was up 1.3% from January 2012. (Source: US DOT)

• The February shipments index rose 5.6% over the previous month and rose 0.5% year-over-year. The February expenditures index increased 1.8% for the month, and decreased 1% 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 January, the U.S. imported about $228.9 billion of cargo. January U.S. imports have increased 1.8% in terms of value from December, and fell 0.9% year-over-year. (Source: US Census)

• In January, the U.S. exported more than $184.5 billion of cargo. January U.S. exports have decreased 1.2% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 3.3% year-over-year. (Source: US Census)

• U.S. import prices rose 1.1% in February. Import prices fell 0.3% over the past year. The price index for U.S. exports rose 0.8% in February. Export prices increased 1.5% year-over-year. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employment:

• The unemployment rate in America decreased to 7.7% in February 2013 as there were 236,000 net new jobs. (Source: US DOL)

• The trucking industry added 5,600 jobs in February. The trucking workforce increased 0.4% over the previous month and rose 3.2% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Rail:

• Railroad bulk carload freight in February 2013 rose 2.3% from January 2013. Freight traffic in February fell 1.1% from February 2012. Carloads excluding coal and grain increased 4.5% 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 February 2013 was 10.5% higher than in February 2012 and 3% higher than January 2013 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 39 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 2.9% in January after rising 2.4% in December. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 6.5% year-over-year. January’s index was the highest on record. (Source: American Trucking Association | Trucking.org)

• The spot market for truckload freight in January fell 8.1 compared to the previous month, and was 1% lower year-over-year. Truck capacity fell 6.3% for the month, and was up 16% year-over-year. (Source: TransCore Freight Index | www.transcorefreightsolutions.com)

Air:

• Global air freight traffic in January increased 5% from one year ago. North American air freight in January rose 0.6% 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 January, the average international air cargo rate fell 10.5 points from December; the largest monthly drop in the index since its inception in May 2012. The average price of air cargo leaving the United States in January stood at $3.25 per kilogram. (Source: Drewry) (The Drewry Air Freight Price Index is based on the average of rates ($US per kg) for cargoes of 100+kg to 1,000+kg cargoes from Shanghai to London, Moscow, Prague, New York, and Los Angeles.)

Ocean:

• Import shipment volume, in TEUs, at U.S. ports decreased 5% in February from the previous month but rose 15.3% year-over-year, the highest since 2008. Over 1.4 million TEUs were imported in February, and shipments were over 720,000. (Source: Zepol Corporation | zepol.com)

Warehousing:

• The U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 8.7% during Q4 2012, down from 9% in the previous quarter. (Source: Cushman & Wakefield)

• In Q4 2012, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the US averaged $4.30 per square foot. (Source: Cushman & Wakefield)

Purchasing Managers Index:

• The National PMI rose 1.1 points to 54.2 in February 2013. New orders rose 4.5 points to 57.8 and production increased 4 points to 57.6. (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.)

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