A Quick Glance Into The Logistics Market - January 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 2.0% in the third quarter of 2015 according to the third preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in late December. (Source: US BEA)
U.S. Trade Deficit: The U.S. trade deficit decreased 3.4% in November to $42.4 billion. Exports decreased 1.0% to $182.2 billion and imports decreased 1.49% to $224.6 billion. (Source: US DOC & Census Bureau) Consumer Confidence The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 96.5 in December 2015, up 6.7% from November. (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 5.0% in December 2015. A preliminary 292,000 net new jobs were created in December 2015, up from a revised 252,000 in November, and the second best month in 2015. (Source: US DOL) 
Leading Economic Index: The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.4% in November to 124.6 (2004=100). The Index increased 0.6% in October and had no change in September. (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 December to $448.1 billion, down 0.1% from the previous month, and up 2.2% above December 2014. Non-store retailer sales were up 6.3% from last year. (Source: US Census)
Manufacturing & Trade Sales: Total combined sales and manufacturing shipments totaled nearly $1.317 trillion in October 2015, down 0.2% from September and down 2.7% from October of the previous year. (Source: US Census)
Manufacturing & Trade Inventory: Total value of inventory on hand is estimated at $1.814 trillion in October, virtually unchanged from September and up 2.0% from October of the previous year. (Source: US Census)
Housing Starts: In November 2015, housing starts increased 10.3% from the previous month to an annual rate of 1,170,000 units. Starts for single-family homes were an annualized 768,000 in November 2015, the highest level since January 2008. The index of pending home sales (sales that haven’t closed yet but contracts have been signed) was 106.9 in November 2015, down 0.9% from the previous month. (Source: U.S. DOC)
Consumer & Producer Price Index: The consumer price index for all urban consumers was unchanged in November on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.5% before seasonal adjustment. The producer price index for final demand decreased 0.2% in December from the previous month. Prices for final demand goods decreased 0.7% from the previous month. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Cass Freight Index: The December shipments index decreased 4.9% from the previous month and decreased 3.7% year-over-year. The December expenditures index decreased 2.7% for the month, and decreased 5.2% year-over-year. The declines are not unusual for December. (Source: Cass Information Systems | Cassinfo.com) (Based upon transportation dollars and shipments of Cass clients comprised of over 400 shipping companies)
Import Volumes: In November, the U.S. imported $183.5 billion of cargo, decreasing 1.97% from October 2015 and the lowest level since February 2011. (Source: US Census)
Export Volumes: In November, the U.S. exported $122.2 billion of cargo, decreasing 1.13% from October 2015 and the lowest level since June 2011. (Source: US Census)
Import & Export Price Index: U.S. import prices decreased 1.2% in December, after decreasing 0.5% the previous month. A decrease in fuel prices drove the December decline. U.S. export prices decreased 1.1% in December, after a 0.7% decline the previous month. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
E-Commerce: E-Commerce revenue was up 16% in November 2015 compared to November 2014. Mobile shopping (phones and tablets) accounted for 30% of online shopping, up from 25% in November 2014. (Source: Custora E-Commerce Pulse)
Multimodal News Clips: 
  • U.S. light vehicle sales were a seasonally adjusted and annualized 17.2 million in December 2015, down 4.9% from November. This was the lowest amount in the last six months. (Source: AAR)
  •  The 2015 holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 – Dec. 31) was strong for U.S. e-commerce retailers, with revenue up 12.1% over the same period in 2014. With strong revenue increases (12.1%) came a solid jump in orders, up 10.9% with the average order value up 1.1% (Source: Custora)
U.S. Freight Rail: Traffic Originations of carloads in December 2015 totaled 1,219,443, a decrease of 15.6% from December 2014. Weekly average total carloads in December 2015 were 243,889, the 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 1,179,907 units in December 2015, 0.7% lower, year-over-year. Year-over-year monthly intermodal volume has fallen on U.S. railroads three months in a row, which hasn’t happened since November 2009. (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 November 2015 was 303.4, down 5.3% from the previous month and 41.7% 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 November 2015 decreased 0.82% from the previous month, to 164,241 employees total, the seventh straight month-to-month decline. The majority of losses are locomotive engineers and conductors. (Source: U.S. STB)
Railroad News Clips:
  •  Norfolk Southern announced that it is consolidating two of its divisions (Virginia and Pocahontas) and shutting down portions of one secondary line (West Virginia Secondary) as part of the company’s ongoing drive to enhance operating efficiencies and support long term growth. (Source: Railway Age)
Truckload Freight: The spot market for truckload freight in December increased 15% compared to the previous month, and was 36% lower year-over-year. Truck capacity decreased 0.8% for the month, and increased 24% year-over-year. (Source: DAT Trendlines | www.dat.com
Trucking Employment: The trucking industry workforce increased by 5,300 employees to 1,460,200 employees total in December. The trucking workforce increased 1.32% over the previous year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Trucking News Clips:
  • The FMCSA’s driver coercion rule, formally known as the “Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers” will take effect January 29th. The rule adopts regulations that prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles in violation of certain FMCSA provisions. (Source: Supply Chain 24/7)
  • The validity of a rule proposed by the FMCSA that would increase the use of inspection data in making Safety Fitness Determinations for motor carriers has been challenged by a coalition of eight associations representing trucking interests. The group of stakeholders contends that the FMCSA plans to ignore the clear mandates of the FAST Act (the recently passed highway bill) when it opens a rulemaking this month that would change existing standards for determining the safety fitness of individual motor carriers. (Source: Trucking Info)
Atlanta Air Cargo Traffic: In November, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport transported 53,841 metric tons of cargo, a 4.0% decrease from the previous month and a 6.43% increase year-over-year. (Source: HJIA)
Jet Fuel Prices: As of January 1, 2016, the global average jet fuel price was $47.4 per barrel; down 13.3% from the previous month, and 34.0% 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 $28.9 billion during November 2015, a decrease of 0.3% from October 2015 and a 3.0% decrease from November 2014. (Source: Semiconductor Industry Association)
Ocean Bulk Freight Rates: The Baltic Dry Index fell 20.0% in December, ending at 478. The BDI has decreased 13.18% 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 Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said on December 21st that the expansion of the canal is 96% complete. A date for the expansion’s inauguration is expected to be in the second quarter of 2016. The commercial opening date will be soon after the inauguration. (Source: Materials Handling & Logistics)
Warehouse Rent Rates: In Q3 2015, warehouse and distribution rental rates in the U.S ended at $5.72/SF triple net, up 1.1% from the prior quarter and up 3.9% from the third quarter of 2014. Rental rates for warehouse space averaged $4.30/SF in Atlanta, up 12.86% from the previous quarter. (Source: NGKF)
Purchasing Managers Index: The National PMI fell to 48.2% in December 2015, a decrease of 0.4% over the previous month. New orders increased 0.3% to 49.2%. Production increased 0.6% to 49.8%. (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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