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Trucking News

MFW Musings – July 26, 2023

Industry Insights / July 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

  • Service economy keeps humming in June, ISM reports (source: Logistics Management)
    • Business Activity/Production measured 59.2, an increase of 7.7% from May, and has been in growth mode for 37 consecutive months.
    • New Orders came in at 55.5, an increase of 2.6% from May, and was the sixth straight month of growth.
  • US manufacturing slump continues per June PMI measurements (source: Institute for Supply Chain Management)
    • The manufacturing sector contracted in June for the eighth consecutive month, registering a reading of 46.0 (50 or higher indicates growth). This is 0.9% lower than the 46.9% reading from May.
    • The New Orders index remained in contraction territory at 45.7, which was 3% higher than the 42.7 registered in May.
  • Logistics Managers Index (LMI) continues downward trend (source: DC Velocity)
    • Transportation utilization and prices continued to contract in June, but at slower rates compared to May.
    • Declining inventories may represent a “rightsizing” following a glut of inventory across supply chains in 2022, but there is some concern that a build-up of inventory for peak shipping season this fall has yet to materialize.
    • Inventory levels in June dropped 6.5 points down to 42.9, which is the second-lowest reading in the history of this metric. Seasonality would suggest this will come up soon, but there are some signals that suggest that might not happen.
  • Freight volume follows population shift to the South (source: DAT Freight Analytics)
    • Truckload carriers have been experiencing considerable growth in freight volumes in the Southeast and Southwest since the pandemic began in early 2020.
    • Population migration to six key states – Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas – have helped steer about $100 billion in new income, while the Northeast lost about $60 billion of income, per the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Monthly Cass report suggests freight market bottom may be near (source: Freight Waves)
    • The shipments component of the Cass Freight Index was down 1.6% from May to June and is down 4.7% year over year.
    • The expenditures component of the Cass Index declined 2.6% from May and is down 24.5% year over year.
  • Monthly retail sales from the US Commerce Department (source: Retail Dive)
    • Inflation’s cooldown appears to be freeing up money for consumers as retail sales in June rose 4.9% year over year, per the U.S. Department of Commerce.
    • Inflation concern has decreased, with 47% of Americans say they are very concerned about inflation versus 64% a year ago.
  • Truckload spot rates may have hit bottom of cycle, DAT says (source: DC Velocity)
    • Truckload freight volumes and spot rates held firm in June while contract rates fell to their lowest point in almost two years, according to DAT Freight & Analytics.
    • The gap between spot and contract rates is the narrowest its been since April 2022, and volumes were unchanged from May, which is a sign that spot truckload prices have reached the bottom of the current freight cycle, per DAT.
  • Hefty Jump of $0.099 Pushes Diesel Price to $3.905 a Gallon (source: Transport Topics)
    • A gallon of diesel on average costs $1.363 less than it did at this time last year.