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July 2015 Logistics Market Snapshot

By Ben Harris,
July 2015 Logistics Market Snapshot

Welcome to Manhattan’s review of the July edition of The Logistics Market Snapshot.

This data is compiled from more than 300 external information sources the Center monitors and filters to bring you a concise “snapshot” for comparison between the various transportation modes, warehousing and distribution, and the economy at large.

While the U.S. freight market had mixed results across transport modes, we’re seeing a major, fundamental shift in U.S. port traffic. The Georgia Ports Authority set all-time records for both container volumes and total tonnage in May with strong growth across several key business sectors. The GPA moved more than 338,000 TEUs and 2.9 million tons of freight in the month of May. And In the first half of 2015, East and Gulf coast ports increased their share of U.S. container imports from the same period last years, thanks to shippers diverting cargo from the West Coast during the peak of congestion and even after marine terminals cleared.

East Coast ports grew their share of imports by 3% while the Gulf Coast grew by 1%. West Coast ports share of imports decreased 5%. (Source: JOC) Additionally, in the trucking sector, congress is proposing a bill that would drop the driving age to 18 for commercial heavy-duty truckers. The current law requires drivers be at least 21 before they can drive commercial trucks across state lines. This news is coming on the heels of trucking employment surging for a second straight month in June, allowing U.S. trucking companies to finally employ more workers than they did before the Great Recession.

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Here are more interesting highlights from this month’s Snapshot:

U.S. Market

  • U.S. GDP decreased 0.2% in the first quarter of 2015 according to the most recent estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on June 24. (Source: US BEA)
  • The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 101.4 in June 2015, up 6.8 from a revised 94.6 in May. (Source: The Conference Board) Multimodal
  • E-Commerce revenue in May 2015 is estimated to be up 11% year-over-year. The share of mobile orders (phone and tablet) out of all e-commerce orders has increased to 28%, up from 20% in 2014. (Source: Custora E-Commerce Pulse)
  • According to the 26th Annual State of Logistics Report, the logistics and transportation industry chalked up its best year since the Great Recession, with U.S. business logistics costs rising 3.1% to $1.45 trillion last year. (Source: Logistics Management) Trucking
  • The spot market for truckload freight in June increased 5.7% compared to the previous month, and was 21% lower year-over-year. Truck capacity increased 4.9% for the month, and increased 51% year-over year. (Source: DAT Trendlines)
  • U.S. average diesel prices fell to $2.83 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 $2.81 per gallon.
  • Rail Intermodal rail traffic in June 2015 was 3.7% higher, year-over-year. The weekly average of 279,287 units in June was the highest weekly average for any month in history. (Source: AAR.org) 
  • The index of average railroad fuel prices in May 2015 was 403.7, up 9.2% from the previous month and 32.7% lower year-over-year. (Source: AAR.org)

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