A Quick Glance Into The Logistics Market - April 2014

Georgia Logistics compiles a monthly set of facts and figures regarding the Logistics Markets. We selected a few facts to share with you :-

U.S. Market:

Gross Domestic Product: The U.S. GDP increased 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  
U.S. Trade Deficit: The U.S. trade deficit increased by 7.7% in February to $42.3 billion. Exports fell 1.1% to $190.4 billion and imports rose 0.4% to $232.7 billion.
Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate in America remained at 6.7% in March 2014 as there were 192,000 net new jobs 
Retail Sales: Retail and food service sales rose in March to $433.9 billion, up 1.1% from the previous month, and up 3.8% above March 2013. Non-store retailer sales were up 7.8% from last year
Manufacturing & Trade Inventory: Total value of inventory on hand is estimated at $1.72 Trillion in February 2014, up 0.4% from January and up 4.2% from February 2013. 
Housing Starts: In February, housing starts fell 0.2% to an annual rate of 907,000 units. Building permits (an indicator of future housing starts) rose 7.7% to an annual rate of 1,018,000. Year-over-year, housing starts and building permits in February decreased 6.4% and increased 6.9%, respectively
Dow Jones Transportation Index: Dow Jones Transportation index fell 2% during the month of March
Import Volumes: In February, the U.S. imported about $232.7 billion of cargo. February U.S. imports rose 0.4% in terms of value from January, and rose 1.1% year-over-year 
Export Volumes: In February, the U.S. exported nearly $190.4 billion of cargo. February U.S. exports have decreased 1.1% in terms of value over the previous month and rose 1.9% year-over-year
Multimodal News Clips: 
  • Atlanta is the least-costly location to do business among the 31 largest U.S. metro areas. The study by KPMG measured 26 key cost components in each market, including costs associated with taxes, labor, facilities, transportation, and utilities. Atlanta has the lowest transportation and factory lease costs, and the lowest effective corporate income tax rate of any large U.S. city. The city’s low suburban and downtown office lease costs also contributed to its top ranking 
  • U.S. imports in 2013 decreased from the total value in 2012 by 0.38%. Petroleum products accounted for 12.5% of total U.S. imports in 2013, totaling $283 billion. Automotive vehicles were the second-largest import in the United States last year, increasing 4.1% year-over-year to $152 billion



U.S. Freight Rail Traffic: 
Railroad bulk carload freight in March 2014 rose 2.5% from February 2014. Freight traffic in March rose 3.5% from March 2013, the largest year-over-year increase since December 2011. Carloads excluding coal increased 4.3% over the previous year
(Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units
U.S. Intermodal Rail Traffic: 
Intermodal rail traffic in March 2014 was 9.9% higher than in March 2013, and rose 1.8% from February 2014. Intermodal loadings have experienced year-over-year gains for 52 straight months(Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units
Railroad Fuel Price Index: 
The index of average railroad fuel prices in February was 610.7, up 1.3% from the previous month and 5.6% lower year-over-year. (Average monthly price for gallons purchased by freight railroads; Includes federal excise taxes, transportation, and handling expenses
Freight Cars in Storage: 
The number of freight cars in storage has decreased to 239,554 (15.5% of the fleet) on April 1, down 16,080 cars from a month earlier (A freight car is "in storage" if it has had a loaded revenue move since 2005, but not in the past 60 days. Decrease here = more demand)
Railroad News Clips: 
  • Coal carloads totaled 453,071 in March 2014, up 2.2% over the same month last year and the biggest year-over-year increase since December 2011. Grain shipments have also improved over the previous year. Grain carloads in March 2014 were up 21.2% over March 2013. 
  • Greenbrier has reported that the new railcar backlog at the end of the second fiscal quarter was 15,200 units with an estimated value of $1.54 billion. The company made an estimated 3,700 railcar deliveries during the second quarter and received 5,800 new orders during the same period. 



Trucking Volume: The ATA’s seasonally adjusted cargo index rose 2.8% in February. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 3.6% from February 2013. 
Truckload Freight: 
The spot market for truckload freight in March rose 8.8% compared to the previous month, and was 63% higher year-over-year. Truck capacity rose 20% for the month, and was down 17% year-over-year
Truck Orders: 
Orders for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks in North America are expected to total 27,139 units in March 2014. March orders were 6% lower than the previous month and 24% higher year-over-year
Trucking News Clips: 
  • On average, revenue increased 3.9% at the 25 largest U.S. less-than-truckload carriers in 2012, totaling $29.5 billion. Total LTL Carrier revenue is estimated to be nearly $33 billion for 2013. 
Air Freight:
Air Cargo Traffic: 
Global air freight traffic in February increased 2.9% from one year ago, and fell 2.8% from the previous month. North American air freight in February fell 0.3% year-over-year. (Global air freight covers international and domestic scheduled air traffic.
Atlanta Air Cargo Traffic: In January, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport transported 45,542 metric tons of cargo, a 9% decrease from the previous month and a 9% decrease year-over-year
Air Freight News Clips:
  • American Airlines expects 2014 cargo revenues to top $860 million, an increase of $30 million over 2013. The carrier also said total system capacity will increase by 3% in 2014. 
  • Emirates SkyCargo started their service to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on April 6. Emirates will operate a B777 freighter flight weekly between Atlanta and Dubai. The new service is expected to have up to $6 million in annual economic effect in metro Atlanta


Ocean Freight:

Import Volumes: 
U.S. vessel imports in January 2014 totaled nearly 1.6 million TEUs, up 5.7% from the previous year. The number of shipments in January totaled 802,948 units, a 6.9% increase year-over-year
Ocean Freight Business News: 
  • Import volume through major U.S. container ports is expected to increase 6.1% in April from the same month last year. In February, the latest month for which numbers are available, U.S. container ports handled 1.26 million TEUs, a 8.4% decrease from the previous month and a 1.4% decrease from the same month last year. Total U.S. containerized imports are expected to increase 4.1% in 2014. 
  • $35 million in additional funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project was approved by the Georgia state legislature and now awaits the governor’s signature. Along with previous funding, Georgia has now allocated $226 million, fulfilling the state’s portion of the project that will deepen the Savannah Harbor from 42 to 47 feet
Warehousing & Distribution:
Industrial Vacancy: 
The U.S. average industrial vacancy rate was 8.08% during Q4 2013, down from 8.33% in the previous quarter. Overall vacancy was 12.02% in Atlanta and 9.03% in Savannah during the fourth quarter 
Warehouse Rent Rates: 
In Q4 2013, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the US averaged $4.84 per square foot, up from $4.79/SF in the previous quarter. Rental rates for warehouse space averaged $3.23 per square foot in Atlanta and $3.95 in Savannah
W&D Business News: 
  • Bainbridge Manufacturing, a privately held automotive manufacturer, will invest $10 million into a new headquarters in Decatur County, Georgia. The project will create 100 jobs in the first year, with a total of 240 jobs and $100 million investment over the next 10 years. The company will add an additional 1.6 million square feet to the existing 180,000 square-foot facility. Upon completion, the headquarters will become the primary manufacturing center for the company
  • United Arab Shipping Company will locate its North American headquarters to Gwinnett County, Georgia, investing double-digit millions and creating 160 jobs. The location of the 50,000 square-foot facility will bring the company closer to skilled talent as well as its operations at the Port of Savannah 
  • Nordic Cold Storage has announced the second phase of its state-of-the-art blast facility in Pooler, Georgia. The addition will double the capacity of the existing facility to more than 400,000 square feet and will be capable of flash-freezing an additional 10 million pounds of product per week.
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