American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 3% in April, following a revised gain of 0.4% during the previous month. In April, the index equaled 128.6 (2000=100), which was the lowest level since April 2014. The all-time high is 135.8, reached in January 2015.
News / Industry News
While cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) went in different directions in April, one thing they had in common was that they each are working through the backlog caused by the nine-month West Coast port labor dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union that reached a tentative agreement in late February.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is returning to normal levels as officials prepare to count votes on ratification of a new West Coast labor agreement that ended months of uncertainty, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
North American shipment volume and payments were up for the third month in a row. While first quarter GDP was an anemic 0.2 percent, it is not representative of the freight moving in the nation. Both the railroad and truck sectors reported increased loads in April. The strength of the U.S. dollar is boosting imports but hampering exports.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Mining employment continued to decline.
In what is being described as an effort to “restore service levels,” container shipping lines comprising the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) are attempting to pull off a significant rate hike this summer.
“Although the leading economic index still points to a moderate expansion in economic activity, its slowing growth rate over recent months suggests weaker growth may be ahead,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “Building permits was the weakest component this month, but average working hours and manufacturing new orders have also slowed the LEI’s growth over the last six months.”
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 28th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 71st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
The last of the striking Long Beach and Los Angeles port truck drivers ended their picketing today with employees of Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9) returning to work.