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Mhlnews 3047 Atlanta Logistics Costs

Atlanta Wins in Latest Logistics Cost Numbers

April 18, 2014
Lowest cost to do business in and to ship from.

Atlanta is the least-costly location to do business among the 31 largest U.S. metro areas, according to a KPMG study measured 26 key cost components in each market. Furthermore, Atlanta has the lowest transportation and factory lease costs, and the lowest effective corporate income tax rate of any large U.S. city. The Southeast region of the U.S. got more good news in March when the Georgia Ports Authority achieved its highest month on record in March, moving 2.61 million tons of cargo, a 15.5% increase year-over-year. The Port of Savannah moved 260,539 TEUs in March 2014, a 12% increase over the same month last year. (Source: GPA)

This news comes courtesy of the latest Logistics Market Snapshot, from the Georgia Center of Innovation. Other highlights from this report:

Transportation Indexes:

• Dow Jones Transportation index fell 2% 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 decreased 1.2% in March. (Averaged share weights of NASDAQ-listed companies classified as transportation companies, average of March 10th thru April 10th)

• The March shipments index rose 0.4% over the previous month and rose 6.6% year-over-year. The March expenditures index rose 5.3% for the month, and increased 5.4% year-over-year. (Source: Cass Information Systems | (Based upon transportation dollars and shipments of Cass clients comprised of over 400 shipping companies)


• Railroad bulk carload freight in March 2014 rose 2.5% from February 2014. Freight traffic in March rose 3.5% from March 2013, the largest year-over-year increase since December 2011. Carloads excluding coal increased 4.3% over the previous year. (Source: (Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units)

• Intermodal rail traffic in March 2014 was 9.9% higher than in March 2013, and rose 1.8% from February 2014. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 52 straight months. (Source: (Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units)


• The ATA’s seasonally adjusted cargo index rose 2.8% in February. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 3.6% from February 2013. (Source: American Trucking Association |

• The spot market for truckload freight in March rose 8.8% compared to the previous month, and was 63% higher year-over-year. Truck capacity rose 20% for the month, and was down 17% year-over-year. (Source: DAT Trendlines |

• Orders for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks in North America are expected to total 27,139 units in March 2014. March orders were 6% lower than the previous month and 24% higher year-over-year. (Source: FTR Associates |


• Global air freight traffic in February increased 2.9% from one year ago, and fell 2.8% from the previous month. North American air freight in February fell 0.3% year-over-year. (Source: (Global air freight covers international and domestic scheduled air traffic.)

• In February, the index of East-West air cargo rates fell 5.7% from the previous month, and was 6% lower year-over-year. The average price of air cargo leaving the United States in February stood at $3.12 per kilogram. (Source: Drewry) (The Drewry East-West Air Freight Price Index is based on the average of rates ($US per kg) for air freight services on 21 major East-West routes.)

Ocean Freight:

• U.S. vessel imports in January 2014 totaled nearly 1.6 million TEUs, up 5.7% from the previous year. The number of shipments in January totaled 802,948 units, a 6.9% increase year-over-year. (Source: Zepol Corporation |

• Import volume through major U.S. container ports is expected to increase 6.1% in April from the same month last year. In February, the latest month for which numbers are available, U.S. container ports handled 1.26 million TEUs, a 8.4% decrease from the previous month and a 1.4% decrease from the same month last year. Total U.S. containerized imports are expected to increase 4.1% in 2014. (Source: NRF/Hackett Associates)


• The U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 8.08% during Q4 2013, down from 8.33% in the previous quarter. (Source: Colliers International)

• In Q4 2013, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the US averaged $4.84 per square foot, up from $4.79/SF in the previous quarter. (Source: Colliers International)


• The unemployment rate in America remained at 6.7% in March 2014 as there were 192,000 net new jobs. (Source: US DOL)

• The trucking industry workforce added 3,300 employees in March. The trucking workforce increased 1.8% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Economic Indicators:

• The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 82.3 in March 2014, up 4 points from the previous month. (Source: The Conference Board) (The consumer confidence index is based on a monthly survey of 5,000 U.S. household. It is designed to gauge the financial health, spending power, and confidence of the average U.S. consumer.)

• The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.5% in February to 99.8 (2004=100), following at 0.1% increase in January and a 0.1% decrease in December. (Source: Conference Board) (The LEI is a composite of 10 economic indicators that together create an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The LEI reveals patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component alone.)

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