A Quick Glance Into The Logistics Market - March 2016

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


Gross Domestic Product: The U.S. GDP increased 1.0% in the fourth quarter of 2015 according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in late February. (Source: US BEA)

U.S. Trade Deficit: The U.S. trade deficit increased 2.23% in January to $45.7 billion. Exports decreased 2.1% to $176.5 billion and imports decreased 1.2% to $222.1 billion. (Source: US DOC & Census Bureau)

Consumer Confidence: The Consumer Confidence Index decreased to 92.2 in February 2016, down 6.0% from January. (Source: The Conference Board) (The consumer confidence index is based on a monthly survey of 5,000 U.S. household. It is designed to gauge the financial health, spending power, and confidence of the average U.S. consumer.)

Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate in America remained at 4.9% in February 2016, the lowest level since February 2008. A preliminary 242,000 net new jobs were created in February 2016, up 40.6% from January. (Source: US DOL) 

Leading Economic Index: The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. decreased 0.2% in January to 123.2 (2004=100). The slight decrease was driven primarily by large declines in stock prices. (Source: Conference Board) (The LEI is a composite of 10 economic indicators that together create an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The LEI reveals patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component alone.)

Retail Sales: Retail and food service sales decreased in February to $447.3 billion, down 0.1% from the previous month, and up 3.1% above February 2015. Non-store retailer sales were up 5.9% from last year. (Source: US Census) Manufacturing & Trade Sales Total combined sales and manufacturing shipments totaled nearly $1.296 trillion in January 2016, down 0.4% from December and down 1.1% from January of the previous year. (Source: US Census)

Manufacturing & Trade Inventory: Total value of inventory on hand is estimated at $1.812 trillion in January, up 0.1% from December and up 1.8% from January of the previous year. (Source: US Census)

Housing Starts: In January, housing starts decreased 3.8% from the previous month to an annual rate of 1,099,000 units, the second lowest level in eight months. Starts for single-family homes were an annualized 731,000 in January. The index of pending home sales (sales that haven’t closed yet but contracts have been signed) was 106.0 in January, down 2.5% from the previous month. (Source: U.S. DOC)

Consumer & Producer Price Index: The consumer price index for all urban consumers fell 0.2% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.0% before seasonal adjustment. The producer price index for final demand decreased 0.2% in February from the previous month. Prices for final demand goods increased 0.1% from the previous month. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics


Cass Freight Index: The February shipments index increased 8.3% from the previous month to 1.055 and decreased 2.6% year-over-year. The February expenditures index increased 6.3% for the month to 2.31, and decreased 5.1% year-over-year. (Source: Cass Information Systems | Cassinfo.com) (Based upon transportation dollars and shipments of Cass clients comprised of over 400 shipping companies)

Import Volumes: In January, the U.S. imported $180.6 billion of cargo, decreasing 1.6% from December 2015 and the lowest level since February 2011. (Source: US Census)

Export Volumes: In January, the U.S. exported $116.9 billion of cargo, decreasing 3.3% from December 2015 and the lowest level since November 2010. (Source: US Census)

Import & Export Price Index: U.S. import prices decreased 0.3% in February, and have not recorded a monthly advance since June 2015. U.S. export prices decreased 0.4% in February, and have not recorded a monthly advance since the index rose 0.5% in May 2015. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

E-Commerce: E-Commerce revenue was up 9% in January compared to January 2015. Mobile shopping (phones and tablets) accounted for 31% of online shopping, up from 26% in January 2015. (Source: Custora E-Commerce Pulse)

Multimodal News Clips: 

  • U.S. light vehicle sales were a seasonally adjusted and annualized 17.4 million in February 2016, down 0.57% from January. (Source: AAR)
  • Last-mile delivery network Connect India became a UPS Authorized Shipping Outlet through a new agreement. The service links UPS’s global network with Connect India’s last-mile capabilities. Connect India users in more than 50 cities, 650 district towns, and 8,000 small towns across India can book international shipments through Connect India Centers, which make use of UPS’s global shipping services. (Source: Inbound Logistics)


U.S. Freight Rail Traffic: Originations of carloads in February 2016 totaled 979,042, a decrease of 10.1% from February 2015. This is the 13th straight year-over-year monthly decline. Weekly average total carloads in February 2016 were 244,761, the third lowest weekly average for any month since January 1988. (Source: AAR.org) (Report includes rail car-loadings by 19 different major commodity categories as well as intermodal units)

U.S. Intermodal Rail Traffic: Intermodal rail traffic totaled 1,049,126 units in February, 12.9% higher, year-over-year. This was the biggest year-over-year monthly percentage gain in five years. (Source: AAR.org) (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 January was 214.2, down 13.9% from the previous month and 35.5% lower year-over-year. (Source: AAR.org) (Average monthly price for gallons purchased by freight railroads; Includes federal excise taxes, transportation, and handling expenses)

Class 1 Railroad Employment: Railroad employment in January decreased 2.6% from the previous month, to 156,602 employees total, the ninth straight month-to-month decline, and the biggest month-to-month decline since January 2001. (Source: U.S. STB)

Railroad News Clips: 

  • OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation services companies in North America, and the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority are developing a 2,700-acre tract near Rincon, Georgia. The Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub, located 12 miles from the Port of Savannah and served by CSX and NS railroads, is expected to attract manufacturers, processors, distributors, and others. (Source: Railway Age)


Truckload Freight: The spot market for truckload freight in February decreased 2.4% compared to the previous month, and was 29% lower year-over-year. Truck capacity increased 12% for the month, and increased 18% yearover-year. (Source: DAT Trendlines | www.dat.com

Trucking Employment: The trucking industry workforce decreased by 600 employees to 1,465,700 employees total in February. The trucking workforce increased 0.97% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Trucking News Clips: 

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken the first step to address obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in truck drivers. An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) will be published that calls for public input during the next 90 days on the impacts of screening, evaluating, and treating commercial drivers and rail workers for OSA. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that DOT take action to address OSA screening and treatment for transportation workers, placing “require medical fitness for duty” on its Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements for 2016. (Source: Fleet Owner)
  •  The U.S. DOT will hold two public hearings to get input on “how to best integrate the safe operation of automated vehicles.” The feedback from these meetings will help the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration provide manufacturers with the rules of the road for how we expect automated vehicles to operate safely. (Source: Inbound Logistics) 


Atlanta Air Cargo Traffic: In January, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport transported 49,799 metric tons of cargo, a 10.7% decrease from the previous month and a 3.99% increase year-over-year. (Source: HJIA) 

Jet Fuel Prices: As of March 4, 2016, the global average jet fuel price was $45.2 per barrel; up 5.0% from the previous month, and 40.0% lower year-over-year. (Source: IATA.org, platts.com) (The weekly index and price data shows the global average price paid at the refinery for aviation jet fuel)

Air Freight News Clips:

  • Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $26.9 billion during January, a decrease of 2.7% from the previous month and a 5.8% decrease from January 2015. (Source: Semiconductor Industry Association)


Ocean Bulk Freight Rates: The Baltic Dry Index rose 4.7% in February, ending at 329. The BDI has decreased 32.0% year-to-date. (Source: www.bloomberg.com/quote/BDIY:IND) (The Baltic Dry Index is an index that tracks and averages worldwide international shipping prices of various dry bulk cargoes.)

Ocean Freight Business News: 

  • The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, also known as the Customs reauthorization bill, went into effect March 10. The legislation streamlines Customs and Border Protection procedures, reduces certain cross-border shipping costs and strengthens trade enforcement of intellectual property rights, antidumping and countervailing duty violations. (Source: American Shipper)


Warehouse Rent Rates: In Q4 2015, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the U.S ended at $5.68/SF triple net, up 0.9% from the prior quarter and up 4.5% for the year. This represents the eighth quarter in the past nine in which rents increased at a pace of 4-5% year-over-year, a rate of increase that is solid but not in “spike” territory. (Source: NGKF) 

Purchasing Managers Index: The National PMI increased to 49.5% in February 2016, an increase of 1.3% over the previous month. New orders remained unchanged at 51.5%. Production increased 2.6% to 52.8%. (Source: Institute for Supply Management) (The PMI combines data on new orders, inventory, production, supplier deliveries, and employment. A reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.)






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