The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced Tuesday that they have reached a tentative agreement on terms for health benefits, subject to agreement on the other issues in the negotiations. The parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of this tentative agreement as negotiations continue.
“Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers’ spirits. Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings. Overall, however, they remain quite positive about the short-term outlooks for the economy and labor market.” – The Conference Board
Thousands of truck drivers went on strike over salary and haulage rates in the eastern Chinese port of Ningbo this week, and a logistics firm said on Friday the industrial action was disrupting operations at the world’s sixth busiest port.
Per Bloomberg News, airlines are on alert as one of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes rumbles to life, threatening ash clouds that could force flight cancellations across the North Atlantic, the busiest international travel market.
“American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.3% in July, following a decrease of 0.8% the previous month. In July, the index equaled 130.2 (2000=100) versus 128.6 in June. The index is off just 0.6% from the all-time high in November 2013 (131.0).”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently published the eligibility requirements and the security criteria for exporters to participate in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
“The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, declined 0.9 percent in June from May, falling after four consecutive monthly increases, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The June 2014 index level (119.1) was 25.9 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.”
On Tuesday, the Cass Freight Index Report was released, providing a snapshot of the freight logistics sector for the month of July; below are some of the highlights:
“The freight logistics sector slowed in July, following a seasonal trend, with both freight shipments and freight payments down 3.9 percent from the previous month. This drop was consistent with previous summers’ drops, so should not be seen as a start of a decline in freight for the second half of 2014.”
Today the Global Port Tracker report was released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. The report points to August being forecasted as the highest U.S. import volume month on record (Global Port Tracker began tracking import volumes in the year 2000). U.S. ports followed by the report handled 1.48 million Twenty-Food Equivalent units in the month of June, and estimates for August, September, October, November and December can all be found below.
Forecasted TEU per month can be found in the chart below:
On Thursday 8/7/14, the Burea of Labor Statistics released their latest “Employment Situation Summary”. For the month of July, total nonfarm payroll employment witnessed an increase of 209,000; with the current U.S. unemployment rate at 6.2%.