June Logistics Market Snapshot

By Ben Harris,
June Logistics Market Snapshot

Welcome to Manhattan’s review of The Logistics Market Snapshot, a free report compiled and prepared monthly by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics. This highly sought-after report will be published and reviewed each month and describes last month’s domestic logistics environment. This is a quick, real-time look at facts, figures, rates, and volumes driving a global logistics market.

While the reality for logistics managers feels more like a rollercoaster ride, the report’s raw numbers show the magnitude and importance of the U.S. logistics sector. Overall, the U.S. freight market had mixed results across transport modes. 

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Here are the most interesting highlights from this month’s Snapshot:

U.S. Market

  • The U.S. GDP decreased 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015 according to the most recent estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on May 29. (Source: US BEA)
  • Retail and food service sales rose in May to $444.9 billion, up 1.2% from the previous month, and up 2.7% above May 2014. Non-store retailer sales were up 1.4% from April 2015. (Source: US Census)
  • The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 95.4 in May 2015, up 1.1 from a revised 94.3 in April. (Source: The Conference Board)


  • In April, the U.S. imported $189.7 billion of cargo, decreasing 3.8% from March 2015. (Source: US Census)
  • In April, the U.S. exported $129.0 billion of cargo, increasing 1.5% from March 2015. (Source: US Census)
  • U.S. import prices increased 1.3% in May, following declines in each of the previous 10 months. The May advance was driven by an increase in fuel prices. Import prices fell 9.6% over the past year. The price index for U.S. exports increased 0.6% in May and decreased 5.9% year-over-year. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • eCommerce revenue in April 2015 is estimated to be up 8% year-over-year. The share of mobile orders (phone and tablet) out of all e-commerce orders has increased to 27%, up from 20% in 2014. (Source: Custora e-Commerce Pulse)


  • The ATA’s seasonally adjusted cargo index decreased 3% to 128.6 in April, which is the lowest level since April 2014. The for-hire truck tonnage index rose 1% from April 2014. (Source: American Trucking Association |
  • U.S. average diesel prices fell to $2.88 per gallon last week. The U.S. average diesel price was $1.08 lower than the same week last year. The average price of diesel in the lower Atlantic states was $2.85 per gallon. (Source: U.S. DOE) (Reflects the costs and profits of the entire production and distribution chain.)

Rail Traffic

  • Total carloads in May 2015 decreased 9.4% from May 2014. Total carloads averaged 111,539 in May 2015. This is the biggest year-over-year percentage decline for total carloads for any month since October 2009. (Source:
  • Intermodal rail traffic in May 2015 was 3.8% higher, year-over-year. The weekly average of 271,492 units in May was the third-highest weekly average for any month in history, and the first time in history that the average weekly rail intermodal units exceeded average weekly rail carloads. (Source:

Check back each month for our analysis of the latest information driving global logistics. 

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