Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 242,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in health care and social assistance, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and private educational services. Job losses continued in mining.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in November, 2014 to require shippers to verify container weights. These amendments were brought about by accidents resulting from overweight containers – both on the road and at sea – as well as studies showing that an unacceptably large percentage of significantly overweight containers are tendered to carriers. SOLAS is globally binding; all Countries that are party to the convention have undertaken to implement amendments.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 81st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
CargoSphere, the leading provider of frictionless rate networking and cloud-based global freight rate management, today announces that MIQ Logistics, a major global logistics provider has completed implementation of the CargoSphere technology platform. CargoSphere’s frictionless rate distribution and networking technology smooths out process and data inefficiencies. With CargoSphere, MIQ receives current confidential ocean rates over the Web-based, real-time Rate Mesh and accesses them in a single, systematized freight rate database. All MIQ U.S. branches, as well as their Hong Kong and UK offices are using CargoSphere.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.4% in January, following no change during December. In January, the index equaled 132.8 (2000=100), down from 134.7 in December, an all-time high (along with November 2015).
The number of freight shipments and the dollars spent on freight have been in a typical seasonal decline since September 2015. Our shipment index opened the year just 0.2 percent below last January, while the expenditures index is down 1.4 percent. The economy grew much more slowly in the second half of 2015, so January freight shipments are down 11.6 percent and dollars spent are down 11.5 percent from the June 2015 high. The declines in the fourth quarter and again in January are normal seasonal trends and are not necessarily signs of further weakening.
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, fell 0.4 percent in December from November, declining for the second consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The December 2015 index level (121.0) was 27.8 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
“The U.S. LEI fell slightly in December, led by a drop in housing permits and weak new orders in manufacturing,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “However, the index continues to suggest moderate growth in the near-term despite the economy losing some momentum at the end of 2015. While the LEI’s growth rate has been on the decline, it’s too early to interpret this as a substantial rise in the risk of recession.”
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to decline year-over-year for the next few months but the first half of the year should still amount to a 4.5 percent increase compared with the same period last year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.