Shipments, Inventory Value Up

The latest logistics numbers show shipments still up, but value of inventory is also up. Here’s a summary, courtesy of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics.

Over-the-road trucked shipments rose 2.7% in March, overall trucked shipments were up 3.6% since March 2010, marking the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year growth, according to the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index. The American Trucking Association’s (ATA) seasonally adjusted cargo index dropped 2.9% in February after reaching its highest level in two years in January. Winter storms are being blamed for February’s decrease in truck tonnage.

Railroad bulk carload freight in March increased 3.4% over March 2010, and rose 2% from February 2011. Carloads have experienced year-over-year gains for 13 straight months, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). AAR also reports that intermodal rail traffic in March 2011 was 8.5% higher than March 2010 and 0.5% higher than February 2011 totals. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 16 straight months.

Global air freight in February was up 2.3% from a year ago. North American air freight increased 11.8% in February year-over-year. In February International air cargo prices fell 7.1% from January to 3.96 per kg, down 16.4% year over year, according to the Journal of Commerce.

As of April 1, 2011, the global average jet fuel price was $136.40 per barrel—up 2.3% from March, and 45.2% higher year-over-year, according to the ATA.

In February, U.S. ports imported more than $210.9 billion of cargo, a decrease of 1.7% over the previous month but up 14.4% year-over-year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the same month, U.S. ports exported more than $165.1 billion of cargo, (the highest on record). February U.S. exports have decreased 1.4% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 14.4% year-over-year. In February U.S. ports exported more than $165.1 billion of cargo, the highest on record, the Census Bureau says. February U.S. exports have decreased 1.4% in terms of value over the previous month and grew 14.2% year-over-year.

On the warehousing and distribution front, the U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 9.5% during Q1 2011, reports Cassidy Turley. In Q1 2011, warehouse rental rates averaged $5.08 per sq. ft. And U.S. Census figures show total combined sales and manufacturing shipments totaled $1.17 trillion in February 2011, up 0.2% from the previous month and up 10.9% from a year ago. Total value of inventory on hand was estimated at $1.46 trillion in February 2011, up 0.5% from the previous month and up 9.1% from a year ago.

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