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Trucking News

MFW Musings – August 23, 2023

Industry Insights / August 23, 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

  • The Manufacturing sector contracted in July for the ninth consecutive month (source: Institute for Supply Management)
    • The July Manufacturing PMI registered a 46.4 percent reading, which was 0.4% higher than June.
    • The New Orders Index remained in contraction territory at 47.3 percent, which was 1.7 points higher than the 45.6 percent reading in June.
  • Economic activity in the services sector expanded in July for the seventh consecutive month (source: Institute of Supply Management)
    • July’s Services PMI registered 52.7 percent, 1.2 points lower than June’s reading of 53.9 percent. The sector has grown in 37 of the last 38 months.
  • Minor declines in the July Cass Freight Index report (source: Cass Information Systems)
    • The shipment component of the Index fell 2.2% month over month in July, and 8.9% year over year.
    • The expenditures component, which measures the total amount spent on freight, fell 2.8% month over month and 24.4% year over year in July.
    • The expenditures component rose 23% in 2022, and a record 38% in 2021, but is set to decline about 18% in 2023.
  • Retail Sales see increase in July (source: Retail Dive)
    • Total retail sales rose 5.4% year over year in July, as e-commerce skyrocketed 11.8%, per the U.S. Department of Commerce.
    • The total is not adjusted for inflation, and there is widespread belief that consumers are spending more to get less.
  • US. July Container Imports Rise, Echoing Pre-Pandemic Trends (source: Descartes Systems Group)
    • US. container imports for July 2023 saw a 5.1% increase compared to June, reaching 2,187,810 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
    • These figures represent a 13.6% decline from July 2022, but closely represent the pre-pandemic rates of July 2019.
  • Cargo Theft Crisis Peaks, Industry Acts (source: Freight Caviar)
    • In Q2 2023, cargo theft in the US and Canada surged to a 10 year high, with 582 reported incidents, valued at $44 Million. This represented a 57% increase from Q2 2022. Strategic thefts involving stolen identities are the main culprits.
  • Northeast Shipping Slump (source: U.S. Bank)
    • S. Bank data shows a 27% drop in Northeast regional shipments in Q2 year over year, surpassing the 25% drop during Q2 of 2020. This decline is attributed to reduced housing starts, lower household consumption, and a manufacturing slowdown.
    • While most regions in the U.S. have seen shipment declines, the Southwest stands out with a nearly 15% increase, driven by strong cross-border truck traffic with Mexico.
  • A Steady Decline in China’s Share of U.S. Goods (source: The Wall Street Journal)
    • The first half of 2023 marked the lowest percentage of U.S. imports from China, with China representing 13.3% of U.S. imports compared to the peak of 21.6% in 2017.
    • There has been a noticeable shift of production to other Asian countries, particularly Southeast Asian nations and Inda, with these nations combining to exceed China’s share of U.S. imports starting in early 2019.
    • Mexico’s free-trade agreement with the U.S. and Canada, coupled with trends toward shorter supply chains post-pandemic has propelled it to match China’s share of U.S. imports in the first half of 2023.
  • Fuel jumps to $4.389 a Gallon (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)
    • The price of diesel has jumped $0.484 in the past month, but on average still costs $0.520 less than it did at this time last year.