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April 2014 Industry News

“The LEI rose sharply again, the third consecutive monthly increase,” said Ataman Ozyildirim Economist at The Conference Board. “After a winter pause, the leading indicators are gaining momentum and economic growth is gaining traction. While the improvements were broad-based, labor market indicators and the interest rate spread largely drove the March increase, offsetting the negative contribution from building permits. And, for the first time in many months, the consumer outlook is much less negative.”

ISM Manufacturing Data

Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Report on Business

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector continued to climb in March

  • 50 represents the dividing line between expansion and contraction for the index of the below chart; which covers the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and new orders.
  • The PMI registered 53.7% in March, which was 0.5% higher than February’s reading.
  • New Orders increased in March by 0.6% to register 55.1.

ISM Data

Expanding Manufacturing Industries 

  1. Petroleum & Coal Products
  2. Transportation Equipment
  3. Furniture & Related Products
  4. Paper Products
  5. Printing & Related Support Activities
  6. Plastics & Rubber Products
  7. Fabricated Metal Products
  8. Machinery
  9. Textile Mills
  10. Computer & Electronic Products
  11. Nonmetallic Mineral Products
  12. Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products
  13. Chemical Manufacturing
  14. Primary Metals

Contracting Manufacturing Industries

  1. Apparel, Leather & Allied Products
  2. Wood Products
  3. Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components
  4. Miscellaneous Manufacturing

Transportation Market Update

Truckload Index Category Monthly Reading Previous Monthly Reading Trend Direction
American Trucking Associations (SA) seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage 127.6 124.1 + 2.8% Increasing
Cass Freight Index Report Shipments 1.144 1.073 + 6.6% Increasing
Cass Freight Index Report Expenditures 2.549 2.419 + 5.4% Increasing
Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) 115.2 113.6 + 1.2% Increasing
Trucking Employment 3,300 jobs added 100 jobs added = Unemployment Rate Unchanged
NAFTA Statistics for August 57.2% of the $90.1 Billion of U.S. – NAFTA trade was transported by truck in December; this is up 7.2% YOY

“The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry rose 1.2 percent in February from January, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI).”

“It is pretty clear that winter weather had a negative impact on truck tonnage during February,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, the impact wasn’t as bad as in January because of the backlog in freight due to the number of storms that hit over the January and February period.”

“March shipment volume increased 6.6 percent over the prior month, on top of the 7.3 percent rise seen in February. The number of shipments was 0.4 percent higher than last March and 4.6 percent higher than in March of 2012”. –

Global Market Update

Recent Updates from National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates

  • U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker are forecasted to handle 1.31 million TEU for the month of March, and 1.38 million TEU for the month of April that is 15% and 6.1% YOY increases respectively.
  • “With winter over, retailers are stocking up in anticipation of a busy spring and summer,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said in a statement. “Consumers can expect plentiful supplies of merchandise. A busy time is expected over the next few months, so retailers are keeping a close eye on the labor situation at West Coast ports to ensure that cargo continues to move smoothly.”

US Import Cargo Volume

Transpacific Eastbound

The 5/1/14 GRI will conincide with Transpacific Eastbound contracts which run May 1st – April 30th.

Transpacific Eastbound Update


Domestic & Global Economy

 Truckload Capacity & Volumes

 Global Market Update