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Trucking News

MFW Musings – April 26, 2023

Industry Insights / April 26, 2023
MFW makes the wheels of transportation FAR less squeaky
We do this by having an extremely high give a dang level, proactive communication, and shooting straight – even if the news isn’t great


Noteworthy news bullets we thought you’d enjoy

  • Manufacturing output declines for fifth consecutive month in March, reports ISM (source: Logistics Management)
    • March’s PMI reading came in at 46.3 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), down 1.4% from February. This is the 5th month in a row of overall contraction.
    • New Orders, commonly referred to as the engine that drives manufacturing, decreased 2.7% to 44.3, contracting for the 7th straight month.
  • Despite sequential decline, March Services PMI points to growth, reports ISM (source: Logistics Management)
    • The Services PMI for March came in at 51.2 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), down 3.9% from February – but it’s still growth.
    • The services sector has seen growth in 33 of the last 34 months, with December 2022 being the one month with a decline.
  • Logistics industry growth slowed in March (source: DC Velocity)
    • The March Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI) reached an all-time low of 51.1 (50 or higher indicates growth). NOTE: The index has been around for 6.5 years.
    • Things have clearly been slowing down, but the macro economy has not yet come to a halt.
  • Georgia ports are seeing record growth (source: Supply Chain Dive)
    • The Port of Savannah handled record cargo volumes of 3.8 million TEUs in the 2022 fiscal year, with February 2023 being its “busiest February ever,” according to a press release.
    • In comparison, volumes dropped 43% YoY at the Port of Los Angeles in February.
  • US trucking firms adding jobs ahead of expected freight demand (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US trucking companies are preparing for higher demand this spring by adding to their payrolls. Trucking employment climbed by 3,600 jobs in March, a 0.2% gain from February and 3% increase year over year.
    • The monthly gain was the first increase in trucking jobs since October.
  • Warehouse Jobs Drop to Lowest Level in 15 Months (The Wall Street Journal)
    • Employers cut 11,800 warehouse and storage jobs from February to March. Warehouse companies have reduced employment by nearly 50,000 jobs since June 2022.
    • Employment at U.S. warehouses surged by nearly 700,000 jobs from April 2020 to June 2022, so jobs are still well above pre-pandemic levels.
  • Laredo Regains Status as No. 1 US Port for February (source: Transport Topics)
    • The Port of Loredo, Texas just went from the No. 1 inland port in the U.S. to the country’s No. 1 international trade port overall in February, the first time it’s ranked No.1 since February of 2020.
    • Chicago O’Hare International Airport ranked No. 2, reporting $22.8B in trade while the Port of Los Angeles ranked No. 3 with $17.2B in trade.
  • Cass Transportation Index Report March 2023 (source: Cass Transportation Systems)
    • The expenditures component of the Cass Freight Index, which measures the total amount spent on freight, fell 1.5% m/m in March, and fell 12.0% y/y after a 9.7% y/y decline in February.
    • With shipments down 1.0% m/m in March, Cass infers rates were down 0.4% m/m.
  • Truck Tonnage Falls 5% in March, when taking into account seasonality (source: Transport Topics)
    • “After increasing 2.6% during the three previous months, March’s sequential decline was the largest monthly drop since April 2020”, per ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
    • The non-seasonal adjusted # was an increase of 9.3% from February, but that did not fare well against a 17.2% increase in March of 2022 and 17.4% in March of 2021.
    • Falling home construction, decreasing factory output and soft retail sales all hurt contract freight tonnage.
  • Diesel sheds $0.039 to $4.077 per gallon (source: Transport Topics)
    • A gallon of trucking’s main fuel now costs $1.083 less than it did at this time in 2022.


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