Latest Employment Numbers Up—Except for Pirates

March unemployment was 7.6% and the cost of Somali piracy to global supply chains fell 13% last year.

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

• The unemployment rate in America decreased to 7.6% in March 2013 as there were 88,000 net new jobs.  (Source: US DOL);

• The cost of Somali piracy to the global economy in 2012 fell 13% year-over-year to about $6 billion. Hijackings dropped 50% and attempted attacks decreased more than 70%. (Source: One Earth Future Foundation);

• Intermodal rail traffic in March 2013 was 0.5% higher than in March 2012. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 40 straight months. (Source: AAR). 

Here are the other market highlights:

Transportation Indexes:

• Dow Jones Transportation index rose 0.6% during the month of March. (Stock performance of twenty large, well-known U.S. companies in the transportation industry, average of March 10th thru April 10th);

• NASDAQ Transportation Index increased 3.2% in March. (Averaged share weights of NASDAQ-listed companies classified as transportation companies, average of March 10th thru April 10th);

• The USDOT's freight transportation services index rose 1.2% in February 2013. The index’s reading of 113.9 was up 2.7% from February 2012. (Source: US DOT);

• The March shipments index rose 5.8% over the previous month and rose 4.2% year-over-year. The March expenditures index increased 6.5% for the month, and increased 4.4% 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 February, the U.S. imported about $228.9 billion of cargo. February U.S. imports remained the same in terms of value from January, and rose 1.9% year-over-year. (Source: US Census);

• In February, the U.S. exported more than $186 billion of cargo. February U.S. exports have increased 0.8% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 3.2% year-over-year. (Source: US Census);

• U.S. import prices fell 0.5% in March. Import prices fell 2.7% over the past year. The price index for U.S. exports fell 0.4% in March. Export prices increased 0.3% year-over-year. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics);

Employment:

• The unemployment rate in America decreased to 7.6% in March 2013 as there were 88,000 net new jobs. (Source: US DOL);

• The trucking industry lost 6,900 jobs in March. The trucking workforce decreased 0.5% over the previous month and increased 2.6% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics);

Rail:

• Railroad bulk carload freight in March 2013 fell 1.4% from February 2013. Freight traffic in March fell 0.5%

from March 2012. Carloads excluding coal and grain increased 3.4% 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 March 2013 was 0.5% higher than in March 2012 and 4.9% lower than February

2013 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 40 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 0.6% in February after rising 1% in January. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 4.2% year-over-year. (Source: American Trucking Association | Trucking.org);

• The spot market for truckload freight in March rose 37% compared to the previous month, and was 4.1%

lower year-over-year. Truck capacity fell 1.3% for the month, and was up 19% year-over-year. (Source: TransCore Freight Index | www.transcorefreightsolutions.com);

Air:

• Global air freight traffic in February decreased 6.2% from one year ago. North American air freight in February fell 3.1% 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 February, the index of average international air cargo rates rose 1.9 points from January. The average price of air cargo leaving the United States in February stood at $3.32 per kilogram. (Source: Drewry) (The Drewry Air Freight Price Index is based on the average of rates ($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 15% in March from the previous month and fell 12.5% year-over-year. Imports in March were the lowest since 2009 due to the Chinese New Year falling later this year compared to last year. (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 fell 2.9 points to 51.3 in March 2013. New orders fell 6.4 points to 51.4 and production decreased 5.4 points to 52.2. (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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