A Quick Glance Into The Logistics Market - February 2014

Georgia Logistics complies 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 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013 according to the first estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  
U.S. Trade Deficit: The U.S. trade deficit increased by 12% in December to $38.7 billion. Exports fell 1.8% to $191.3 billion and imports rose 0.3% to $230 billion. 
Consumer Confidence: The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 80.7 in January 2014, up 3.2 points from the previous month. (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 decreased to 6.6% in January 2014 as there were 113,000 net new jobs. 
Leading Economic Index: The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1% in December to 99.4 (2004=100), following a 1.0% increase in November and a 0.1% increase in October. (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 fell in January to $427.8 billion, down 0.4% from the previous month, and up 2.6% above January 2013. Non-store retailer sales were up 6.5% from last year. 
Manufacturing & Trade Sales: Total combined sales and manufacturing shipments totaled more than $1.3 Trillion in December 2013, up 0.1% from November and up 3.8% from the previous year. 
Manufacturing & Trade Inventory: Total value of inventory on hand is estimated at $1.71 Trillion in December 2013, up 0.5% from November and up 4.4% from December 2012.  
Housing Starts: In December, housing starts fell 9.8% to an annual rate of 999,000 units. Building permits (an indicator of future housing starts) fell 3.0% to an annual rate of 986,000. Year-over-year, housing starts and building permits in December increased 1.6% and 4.6%, respectively. An estimated 923,400 housing units were started in 2013, an 18.3% increase over 2012. 
Consumer & Producer Price Index: The consumer price index for all urban consumers increased 0.3% in December from the previous month. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5%. The producer price index for finished goods rose 0.4% in December from the previous month. Prices for finished goods rose 1.4% over the previous year. 
DOT Freight Transportation Index: The USDOT's freight transportation services index fell 1% in December 2013. The index’s reading of 116.5 was up 4.4% from December 2012.
Cass Freight Index: The January shipments index fell 3.6% over the previous month and fell 2% year-over-year. The January expenditures index fell 5.1% for the month, and increased 1.4% year-over-year. (Based upon transportation dollars and shipments of Cass clients comprised of over 400 shipping companies) 
Import & Export Price Index: U.S. import prices rose 0.1% in January. Import prices fell 1.5% over the past year. The price index for U.S. exports rose 0.2% in January. Export prices decreased 1.2% year-over-year. 
Multimodal News Clips: 
  • Georgia merchandise exports set a record in 2013, totaling $37.6 billion, a 4.2% increase over 2012. The state’s strong performance helped the United States hit an all-time record for exports of U.S. goods and services, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013 and supporting nearly 10 million American jobs. 
  • Retail sales in 2014 are expected to increase 4.1%, up from the preliminary 3.7% growth seen in 2013. Online sales in 2014 are forecast to grow between 9% and 12%. 
  • The U.S. recovery’s continued momentum in 2013 helped to increase demand for industrial real estate. In total, the industrial sector absorbed +121.3 million square feet in 2013, the strongest reading since 1998. Ecommerce-related demand was estimated to account for nearly 40% of all net absorption in 2013. At the end of 2013, there was 71.1 million square feet of new industrial space under construction, up 85% compared to a year ago. 



Railroad Fuel Price Index: The index of average railroad fuel prices in December was 600.3, up 1.8% from the previous month and 2% 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 267,548 (17.3% of the fleet) on February 1, down 9,995 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)
Trucking Volume: The ATA’s seasonally adjusted cargo index rose 0.6% in December. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 6.2% from December 2012, making 2013 the index’s best year since 1998. 
Truckload Freight: The spot market for truckload freight in January rose 24% compared to the previous month, and was 56% higher year-over-year. Truck capacity remained steady for the month, and was down 218% year-over-year. 
Trucking Employment: The trucking industry added 3,200 jobs in January after posting a gain of 100 in December. The trucking workforce increased 1.4% over the previous year. 
NAFTA Trade: Surface transport-related trade between the U.S. and its NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico, increased 2.8% in November compared to the same month last year, totaling more than $79.1 billion. 
Trucking News Clips:
  • Less-than-truckload carrier Saia reported a net profit of $8.1 million in the fourth quarter, a 49% increaseover the same quarter in 2012. For the full year, Saia’s net profit increased 43%, totaling $43.6 million. 
  • Truckload line-haul rates increased 2.9% in January, the largest year-over-year increase since last February. Intermodal rates rose 1.7% in January, the first year-over-year increase since August. These rate hikes reflect the supply chain disruption caused by January’s severe winter storms. 
Air Freight
Air Freight News Clips: 
  • In preparation for Valentine’s Day, global carriers have seen increases in flower activity this year compared to last year. One of the largest flower hubs in the world is Miami International Airport, where 85% to 90% of imported flowers enter the U.S. UPS transported approximately 118 million flowers to loved ones this Valentine’s Day. This year, the company increased air travel between Miami and Latin America to manage the increased traffic and added a number of extra flights. 

Ocean Freight

Import Volumes: U.S. vessel imports in 2013 totaled over 18.2 million TEUs, up 3.7% from the previous year. Annual import TEUs haven’t been this high since 2007.
Ocean Freight Business News: 
  • Import volume through major U.S. container ports is expected to decrease 8.4% in February from the same month last year. In December, the latest month for which numbers are available, U.S. container ports handled 1.3 million TEUs, a 3.3% decrease over the previous month and a 0.6% increase over the same month last year. Total U.S. containerized imports are expected to increase 4.1% in 2014. 
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company was the largest U.S. cargo carrier in 2013. The shipping line brought in over 2.5 million TEUs to the U.S. last year, a 7% increase year-over-year. Maersk Line was the second largest carrier in 2013 but decreased by 3%. Evergreen Line moved up to third place, passing APL Company and Hapag Lloyd. 
  • The Georgia Ports Authority will contribute $3 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for harbor maintenance dredging at the Port of Brunswick. The additional funds will help the Corps deepen the entrance channel to the second busiest automobile import/export terminal in the nation. 


Warehousing & Distribution

Warehouse Rent Rates: In Q4 2013, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the US averaged $5.20 per square foot, up from $5.11/SF in the previous quarter. Rental rates for warehouse space averaged $3.53 per square foot in Atlanta, and $4.66 per square foot in the South. 
W&D Business News: 
  • Ollie’s will locate its new Southeast distribution center in Commerce, Georgia, creating approximately 175 new jobs and investing $14.56 million into the project over the next five years. The new 965,000 square foot distribution center will support the company’s plans to expand its footprint in the Southeast, including 30-40 new stores in Georgia in the next four years. 
  • IVC US, a Dalton-based flooring company, will expand its operations in Whitfield County, Georgia, creating 200 new jobs and investing more than $80 million over the next five years. 
  • Daniel Defense, a small arms manufacturer, has announced that it will expand its existing operation in Bryan County, Georgia, creating 120 new jobs and investing $20 million into the project over the next five years.
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