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Trucking News

MFW Musing’s – October 25, 2022

Industry Insights / October 25, 2022
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

  • FedEx AND UPS to hike rates 6.9% given the inflationary backdrop (source: Supply Chain Dive)
    • “To ease the blow, shippers need to think like the carriers think, and ship like they want them to ship,” said Caleb Nelson, Chief Growth Officer at Sifted. “They’re really punishing long distance shippers, for example. Whether it’s zone skipping or adding a new distribution center, shippers should do anything they can to maximize in-region fulfillment.”
  • September manufacturing output slips but still remains on growth track (source: Logistics Management)
    • PMI measured 50.9 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), which indicates growth for the 28th consecutive month. This is the lowest PMI reading since May of 2020 (43.5)
    • New orders, which are commonly referred to as the engine that drives manufacturing, was down 4.2% to 47.1. Production measured at 50.6.
  • Class 8 orders soar in September to record high. Can OEMs deliver? (source: Fleet Owner)
    • “September Class 8 orders were sensational no matter how you slice the data,” said Erice Crawford, ACT’s VP and senior analyst.
    • Orders in September were up 161% over August, landing at 730,000.
    • The upcoming fall months will be telling, although many experts won’t be surprised to see a dramatic drop from September numbers.
  • Nothing less about less-than-truckload rates (source: Freight Waves)
    • The freight market has been in a tailspin since the spring, but the less-than-truckload carriers are still increasing rates. Dry van contract rates have fallen ~7% since June, according to Freight Waves data. The same database shows a 2% increase in LTL prices over the same time.
    • Reasons for this include:
      • Lack of a strong LTL spot market
      • Lack of fragmentation among LTL carriers
      • While LTL represents half the revenue of the truckload sector, total volume handled is 4-6 times less. Truckload is like buying in bulk, has few touch points compared to LTL shipping – which inherently carries more cost and liability.
  • US for-hire trucking employment takes a plunge (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US for-hire trucking employment fell by 21,200 real jobs in September, according to non-seasonally adjusted data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That comes after jobs rose by nearly 78,000 over five months to an all-time high of 1.61 M workers in August.
    • It was the first decline in trucking employment since March and may indicate motor carriers are already adjusting their capacity and payrolls as spot truckload and contract rates continue to tumble.
    • Trucking employment remains 3.6% higher than in September 2021 and 3.3% higher than pre-pandemic 2019.
  • US truckload spot rates stabilizing after summer slump (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • Although national spot truckload rates fell 17.3% from September 2021, they are still up 21.2% ($0.50/mile) compared to pre-pandemic September 2019.
  • September plunge in US imports from Asia signals more declines ahead (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US imports from Asia in September plunged 10.4% from August to the lowest monthly volume of 2022.
    • According to the National Retail Federation, imports are forecasted to decline 9.4% in October, 4.9% in November, and 6.1% in December vs the same months in 2021.
  • September retail sales hold steady, report Commerce and NRF (source: Logistics Management)
    • Retail sales in September were in line with August, but 8.2% higher than September of 2021. Total retail sales in the 3rd quarter of 2022 were up 9.2% compared to 2021.
  • Cass Transportation Index Report September 2022 (source: Cass Information)
    • The expenditures component of the Cass Freight Index rose 0.3% month over month in September. The shipment component decreased 2.9% month over month, meaning rates increased 3.3%.
    • The expenditures index was 21% higher than year-ago levels in September.
  • Diesel Bumps Up $0.002 to $5.341 a Gallon (source: Transport Topics)
    • Diesel now costs on average $1.628 more than it did at this time in 2021.
  • Industrial rebound pushing up US truck tonnage (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US industrial production and manufacturing rebounded on a sequential and year over year basis in September, creating more truck freight and tonnage – and muddying recession forecasts.
    • Total industrial production rose 0.4% from August and 5.3% year over year. Manufacturing output increased 0.4% from August and 4.8% year over year.