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News

Cass Freight Index Report – February 2015

Cass Information Systems

North American shipment volume jumped up in February, while total freight expenditures reversed a three- month slump. The problems caused by labor negotiations on the West Coast have contributed to an economic slowdown for most of the first quarter. The two sides in the ILWU contract negotiations have come to terms, but not yet ratified them, which will open the floodgates to moving the backlogged freight. The Port of L.A. estimates that it will take three months to return to normal. Meanwhile congestion and capacity will be the industry’s buzzwords.

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Shipping Logistics Picture

Houston Channel Remains Closed After Ships Collide

Supply Chain 247

The Houston Ship Channel is still closed following a collision yesterday between two ships.

The ship channel is expected to remain closed until the U.S. Coast Guard has the situation under control. Officials at Morgan’s Point was lifted overnight.

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Highway

Economy Still Sending Mixed Signals as Capacity Crunch Looms

Truckinginfo.com

Some economic indicators have not bounced back as well as others in the recovery from the Great Recession, but trucking is doing well, and a capacity crunch leads economic expert John Larkin to project truckload rates to rise 3 to 5% this year overall.

Larkin, managing director and transportation expert for investment firm Stifel, Nicolaus, offered an economic outlook Tuesday morning during the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting in Kissimmee, Fla.

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Imports Still Rising as West Coast Ports Work on Backlog

National Retail Federation

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

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Shipping Logistics Picture

Port of Oakland logjam clearing up, containers moving but there’s still more to do

American Journal of Transportation

Efforts to eliminate a cargo backlog at the Port of Oakland are meeting with success. The Port said today gains in container movement are visible from ship to shore. The signs include:

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Highway

February Freight Volume Falls 37% From a Year Ago

TruckingInfo.com

February saw freight volume drop 37% year-over-year and spot market freight availability decline for the second consecutive month — yet rates were up year over year, according to the latest DAT North American Freight Index.

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U.S. Unemployment Situation – February 2015

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.

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Shipping Carrier and Containers

L.A./Long Beach port heads: Backlog will take 3 months to clear

Cargo Business Newswire

The top officials at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said that it would take three months to clear the thousands of containers left stranded on nearly two dozen ships — the product of epic congestion exacerbated by contentious labor talks between dockworkers and management.

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Shipping Logistics Picture

Post-Lunar New Year may Mean Higher Transpacific Ocean Cargo Rates

Logistics Management

Expected post-Lunar New Year cargo growth will accelerate equipment, cargo handling and other costs going forward.

While the full impact on ocean carrier deployments to U.S. West Coat ports has yet to be measured, major players comprising the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) are standing firm on raising rates.

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February 2015 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business

Institute for Supply Management

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 26th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 69th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

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