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Trucking News

MFW Musings – June 28, 2023

Industry Insights / June 28, 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 declines for the seventh straight month in May, reports ISM (source: Logistics Management)
    • The report’s key metric, the PMI, registered a 46.9 reading (50 or higher indicates growth), down 0.2% from April’s 47.1.
    • May’s reading marked the 7th straight month of contraction, which was preceded by 29 consecutive months of growth.
    • The new orders segment, commonly referred to as the engine that drives manufacturing, fell 3.1% to 42.6, contracting for the ninth consecutive month.
  • NRF: Conditions look like a soft landing, not recession (source: DC Velocity)
    • “Today’s economy is a lot like looking into a kaleidoscope, with the view changing and the data providing a different reflection of what’s happening every time you look,” said National Retail Federation (NRF) Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.
    • “While survey data shows consumers do not have much confidence in the economy, actual spending data shows they were upbeat.”
  • China’s Share of U.S. Goods Imports Falls to Lowest Since 2006 (source: The Wall Street Journal)
    • China’s share of trade with the U.S. dipped again, continuing a downward trend. China accounted for 15.4% of U.S. goods imports for the 12 months ended April, the smallest share since October 2006.
  • Freight Market Nears Bottom of the Cycle (source: Cass Information Systems)
    • The shipments component of the Cass Freight Index rose 1.9% m/m in May but fell 5.6% year over year.
    • The expenditures component of the Index fell 6.8% m/m, and fell 15.7% y/y.
    • The past three downcycles in the freight markets have lasted 21 to 28 months. Per Cass data, we saw the first decline 17 months ago.
  • May retail sales see gains, report Commerce and NRF (source: Logistics Management)
    • The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that May retail sales (excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants) were up 0.4% over April, and up 4.4% annually.
  • May US imports highest of 2023, but down 20% from year-ago (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • Total US imports hit 2.07 million TEUs in May, which was the highest total import volume so far in 2023, but was still down 20.4% from the same month in 2022.
  • ‘Rolling recession’ in U.S. economy slows trucking’s recovery (source: Fleet Owner)
    • Manufacturing represents only 12% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), down from approximately 24% thirty years ago. Services represent the other 88%.
  • Cost of trucking hit record high last year, passes $2/mile for the first time (source: CCJ)
    • Marginal costs ballooned 21.3% last year over 2021 to $2.251 per mile, surpassing the $2 per mile mark for the first time in the history of the ATRI’s operating cost report.
    • In the past year, the cost of trucking rose at 12%, twice the 6% rate of core inflation.
  • Truck Tonnage Slips 1.3% in May (source: Transport Topics)
    • Tonnage slipped 1.3% in May compared to May of 2022, but increased 2.4% from April of 2023.
    • The 2.4% gain was nice to see, but Tonnage still remains in recession territory due to the 4.5% drop in February and March.
  • Diesel Price Resumes Decline (source: Transport Topics)
    • Diesel prices resumed their decline after rising for just the fifth time all year on June 19th.
    • The average cost for a gallon of diesel is $1.982 less than at this time in 2022.


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