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Trucking News

MFW Musings – May 24, 2023

Industry Insights / May 24, 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

  • April manufacturing output declines for sixth straight month, reports ISM (source: Logistics Management)
    • The report’s key metric, the PMI, came at 47.1 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), marking a 0.8% gain over March’s 46.3, while contracting for the 6th straight month.
    • 5 out of the 16 sectors measured saw growth, while 11 sectors declined.
    • New Orders, commonly referred to as the engine that drives manufacturing, increased 1.4% to 45.7, while contracting for the 8th consecutive month.
  • Tonnage in April Drops 3.4% Year-Over-Year (source: Transport Topics)
    • “While the broader economy continues to surprise and thus far stave off an expected recession, the freight economy is starkly different. Contract freight is now falling, albeit not nearly as much as the spot market,” said American Trucking Association (ATA) Chief Economist, Bob Costello.
    • The tonnage index hit the lowest level since September 2021.
  • Supply Chain index hits all-time low in April (source: Freight Waves)
    • The Logistics Managers Index (LMI) produced a reading of 50.9 during the month of April (50 and above is growth, lower than 50 is contraction).
    • A big driver in change was inventory levels, which declined 4.7% to 50.9, and the last two weeks of April measuring 42.6.
  • Truck Transportation Jobs rise again in April (source: Freight Waves)
    • Freight recession notwithstanding, the truck transportation sector of the economy is continuing to add jobs – adding 3,000 jobs in April.
  • Softer peak season import forecast trending toward pre-pandemic levels: US retailers (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US imports during peak shipping season this year will be down from 2022 and settle closer to pre-pandemic levels.
    • Global Port Tracker (GPT) forecasts that imports in May will be down 23.5% y/y, June will be down 15.9% y/y, July will be down 7.9%, August will be down 9.9%, and September down 3.4%.
  • Port Houston climbs from 7th to 5th as container flows shift away from West Coast (source: DC Velocity)
    • Shippers have been shifting freight away from West Coast ports due to congested facilities and labor shortages, and one beneficiary has been Port Houston. Moving up from 7th largest to 5th, Port Houston now owns 7% of the U.S. container business market share.
  • U.S. bound imports see a slower rate of decline in April, reports S&P Global Market Intelligence (source: Logistics Management)
    • On a year-to-date basis, April’s 15% decrease was preceded by a 23% decrease in March, a 20% decrease in February, and an 11% decrease in January.
    • Home furnishing imports fell 33% in April compared to 45% in March. Textiles fell 37% in April compared to 37% in March as well   .
  • Texas and New Mexico led U.S, crude oil production in 2022 (source: Energy Information Administration)
    • S. crude oil production grew 5.6%, or 0.6 million barrels per day in 2022 compared to 2021, averaging 11.9 million barrels per day.
    • The Permian Basin, located in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico was a hot spot, and led to New Mexico setting a production record for the state, producing 1.6 barrels per day.
  • Diesel prices slip another $0.014 to $3.883 per Gallon (source: Transport Topics)
    • Diesel prices have dropped for five straight weeks and are $1.688 per Gallon lower than at this point last year.


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