Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 27th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 70th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $89.3 billion in January 2015 as three out of five transportation modes – rail, truck, and air – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in January 2014, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1, Table 1). Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by all modes decreased by 1.2 percent. The value of NAFTA trade by pipeline and vessel declined in January due to the reduced unit price of mineral fuel shipments.
Top executives from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles held a kickoff meeting last week, starting to work together on cargo conveyance strategies that will enhance supply chain speed and efficiency, according to a City of Los Angeles statement.
“Widespread gains among the leading indicators continue to point to short-term growth,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “However, easing in the LEI’s six-month change suggests that we may be entering a period of more moderate expansion. With the February increase, the LEI remains in growth territory, but weakness in the industrial sector and business investment is holding economic growth back, despite improvements in labor markets and consumer confidence.”
American Trucking Associations’advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 3.1% in February, following a revised gain of 1.3% during the previous month. In February, the index equaled 131.6 (2000=100), the lowest level since September 2014.
Zurich Insurance and their head of Strategic Business Risk, Linda Conrad, are sharing some interesting insights into the longer-term financial implications of the prolonged West Coast port disruption for retailers across the country.
Not surprisingly, February volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB) were down on an annual basis in February, as the months-long labor dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, which impacted freight flows and port operations in the form of terminal congestion and related supply chain challenges, came to an end with the parties reaching a tentative five-year contract agreement on February 20.
Shipping lines collectively lost around $150 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to U.S. West Coast congestion, according to Drewry Maritime Research. In the most recent issue of Container Insight, researchers note that carriers experienced various levels of disruption from the port labor dispute, and attempted to quantify the losses by examining available data.
The most recent edition of the Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) from freight transportation forecasting firm FTR continued to reflect how current market conditions are translating into solid overall momentum for motor carriers.
The TCI reflects tightening conditions for hauling capacity and is comprised of various metrics, including capacity, fuel, bankruptcies, cost of capital, and freight.