Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



ISM numbers speak for themselves

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 01, 2011

Earlier today, I reported on the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly Manufacturing Report on Business. In the interest of not repeating the story verbatim, I will tell you this: it was a very, very good report.

In fact, January marked the third highest monthly PMI—the index ISM uses to measure the manufacturing sector—in the last 20 years, with 1994 and 2004 being the highest.

ISM Chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee Norbert J. Ore told me that 1994 and 2004 were “rapid periods of price escalation in both instances.”

He also explained to me that 2010 never felt like a boom year like those of ’94 and ‘04, when things were what he termed as “out of control” in terms of the rate of growth.

What’s more, he said that we are coming off a very good year in which most people thought the second half of 2010 would see a slow down, when, in fact, it actually sped up. And based on one month of 2011 data in the books, there may be more of that to come for a while, which would appear to be good news for supply chains.

Things are far from normal for anyone at this point, regardless of whether you are a shipper or carrier. But there are some things occurring that have to make even the biggest cynic a tad hopeful.

Need another example? Look no further than today’s UPS fourth quarter and full-year 2010 earnings performance. Wow-they did very, very well. Most experts say that UPS (and FedEx’ for that matter) earnings performances are significant barometers of our economic health. If that is still the case, then our patient—the economy—really does appear to be getting better.

Throw in improving retail and industrial production numbers and steady truck and railroad volume numbers, and then we just might be on to something, right?

I know there is a long way to go and that the patient will remain in the sick ward until housing and unemployment improve to tolerable levels, but at this point we have to take what we can get and hope things continue to improve, regardless of the pace.

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

The 'Internet of Things' or IoT is a term that has rapidly taken center stage in business and consumer technology circles, with tremendous amounts of hype in both. Don't be distracted if some of the hypothetical consumer examples of the IoT seem far-fetched; the trend has serious implications for businesses. This complimentary whitepaper takes a look at some of the opportunities afforded by the Internet of Business Things.

Of special interest to readers of Logistics Management will be “Americas Update,” which will look into the future of the market in the Americas and assess how firms will be able to favorably position themselves to compete and win market share.

After 20 years, two congressional mandates and countless lawsuits and lobbying efforts, safety advocates and the Teamsters union still say there are too many inexperienced rookie truck drivers hitting the road without sufficient behind-the-wheel training.

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

Article Topics

Blogs · All topics

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