Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Durable goods orders drop 3.6 percent in April, according to Department of Commerce

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 25, 2011

With freight volumes moderating in recent weeks and demand seeing a mild decline, the United States Department of Commerce reported today that new orders for manufactured durable goods in April dipped 3.6 percent—or $7.1 billion—to $189.9 billion.

This marks the second time in the last three months that new orders have been down. March was up 4.4 percent.

April shipments of manufactured goods fell for the first time in five months, decreasing 1.0 percent—or $2.0 billion—to $194.9 million, according to Commerce. This followed a 3.1 percent gain in March.

The decreases in orders and shipments are consistent with what is happening with current freight trends to a large degree. Industry analysts point out that there was a downturn in freight demand from March to April even though overall freight levels are still showing growth.

And as LM has reported, a good amount of this growth stems from a very strong manufacturing sector, which has shown expansion for 23 straight months, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

“We are seeing steady growth for the most part,” a metals shipper said in an interview. “It is not great compared to what we have seen in the past, but it is clear that demand for goods is intact.”

This sentiment is being highlighted in recent earnings reports and advisories from myriad logistics and freight transportation service providers, too. These providers have been cautious about adding capacity until they see more consistent and steady signs of demand over a prolonged period.

Should oil and diesel prices continue to inch down, as has been the trend in recent weeks, it could serve as a driver for increased demand and orders.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

A couple of years ago, the rush to alternatively fueled vehicles was on. Diesel prices had surged past $4, the American Trucking Associations hosted an overflow crowd at its alternative fuels “summit” for trucking executives and energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens offered what might have been the ultimate assessment of where fuel prices were headed.

As a sector with myriad moving parts, coupled with obstacles like increased risks, cost pressures, among others, the healthcare supply chain is replete with uncertainties. But there are ways for the sector to counter these challenges, too, according to the seventh annual UPS “Pain in the (Supply) Chain healthcare surve

The study examines the trajectory of offshoring cost arbitrage to low-cost developing countries, the rise of new locations, and the fact that there’s ample room for growth.

In a rare show of solidarity, various trucking interests are asking the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to remove online safety ratings of individual motor carriers until flaws in the CSA methodology are fixed.

While it feels somewhat hard to fathom, the stage is set for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA