Consistent with what many in the industry have been calling a “more than normal fall surge” in volumes, the Cass Shipments Index was up on a YOY basis for the first time in 20 months. We have seen a wide range of results in the different modes: from continued volume growth in parcel and airfreight driven by e‐commerce, to a sequential improvement in truck tonnage, to less bad rail and barge volume overall. Although it is far too early to make a ‘change in trend’ call, data is beginning to suggest that the consumer is finally starting to spend a little and that the industrial economy’s rate of deceleration has eased. Simply put, the winter of the overall freight recession we have seen for over a year and a half in the U.S. may not be over, but it is showing signs of thawing.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index contracted 0.3% in October, following a 6.3% drop during September (a downward revision from our press release last month). In October, the index equaled 131.6 (2000=100), down from 131.9 in September. The all-time high was 144 in February.
Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for September, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,314.6 billion, up 0.7 percent (±0.2%) from August 2016 and was up 0.8 percent (±0.4%) from September 2015.
As part of a recent video series, Paul Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Global Trade Management, discusses key point regarding the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.”
Back in December 9, 2015 Congress reached a final agreement on H.R. 644, the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.” The bipartisan, bicameral trade legislation was created to authorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection to put in place effective tools to: (a) strengthen trade enforcement at the border; and, (b) facilitate the efficient movement of legitimate trade and travel. The Bill went to the President for signature, was signed, and a statement was released by The White House Press Secretary on February 24, 2016.
With the holiday shopping season officially under way, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to be up 4.4 percent this month over the same time last year and should see a slightly larger increase next month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Paul Fitzpatrick, MIQ Managing Director of Global Trade Management, recently presented on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements.
The TPP is a trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries signed on February 4, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand after 7 years of negotiations. The TPP will create the world’s largest free-trade zone. The countries within its scope account for 40% of the world’s economic output. The Agreement will not enter into force until ratified by the respective governments.
“The U.S. LEI increased in September, reversing its August decline, which together with the pickup in the six-month growth rate suggests that the economy should continue expanding at a moderate pace through early 2017,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “Housing permits, unemployment insurance claims, and the interest rate spread were the main components lifting the index in September. Overall, the strengths among the leading indicators are outweighing modest weaknesses in stock prices and the average workweek.” – The Conference Board
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities.
The unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.8 million, changed little in October. Both measures have shown little movement, on net, since August 2015.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 89th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index contracted 5.8% in September, following a 5% rise during August (a slight downward revision from our press release last month). In September, the index equaled 132.7 (2000=100), down from 140.8 in August. The all-time high was 144 in February.