Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Trucking news: Cass Freight Index is up in June

image

May’s freight expenditures and shipments both increased from the previous month’s activity. This is the fourth month in a row that both indices have increased over the previous month’s activity. This is also the first time shipments are above 1.0 since November of 2008.

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 02, 2010

While some economic indices have taken a hit in the last week, one that keeps making forward progress is the Cass Information Systems Freight Index.


The Index, which measures the number of shipments and expenditures that are processed through Cass’s account payable systems, indicated that June shipments at 1.106 were 8.8 percent higher than May’s 1.014 and 15.6 percent better than June 2009’s 0.933.

May marked the first time that shipments were above 1.0 since November 2008, and June’s performance kept that trend headed in a positive direction.

June’s shipment expenditures at 1.919 were 7.7 percent better than May’s 1.784, and were 22.4 percent better than June 2009’s 1.489. Cass officials noted that June marked the fifth straight month that both shipments and expenditures were up over the previous month.

Many trucking industry executives and analysts consider the Cass Freight Index as an accurate barometer of freight volumes and market conditions, with Credit Suisse analyst Chris Ceraso stating in research notes that the Cass Freight Index sometimes leads the American Trucking Associations (ATA) tonnage index at turning points, which lends to the value of the Cass Freight Index.

And today’s Cass data follows last week’s ATA monthly tonnage report, which noted that its advanced seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slipped 0.6 percent in May from June, marking only the second time in the last eight recorded months that the SA has dipped.

The ATA also reported that its not seasonally-adjusted index (NSA), which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, hit 108.3 in May, down 2.3 percent from April. The NSA was up 5.8 percent year-over-year.

The NSA’s steady annual gain is indicative of a recovering market even with sequential SA and NSA declines in May. Some industry analysts maintain that the not seasonally-adjusted index is more useful, because it is comprised of what truckers haul.

Even with the positive inroads observed in the Cass Freight Index, there are various factors at work that will have an influence on how things shake out in the second half of the year, including inventory restocking, diesel prices, trucking capacity, demand, and consumer confidence, among others.

What’s more, there stands to reason that the second half may see things slow down a bit compared to the first half of the year.

“There was a flattening in volumes for some of the flatbed commodities near the end of the second quarter…and there was also a fair amount of inventory replenishment taking place,” said Stifel Nicolaus analyst John Larkin in an interview. “There were also a lot of fiscal and monetary stimuli on full throttle, too.”

Other factors cited by Larkin for what could be a slower second half of the year, include consumers still being careful when it comes to spending, which could mean that industrial production will not make up for a decline in consumer spending.

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 International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced August 2014 data for global air freight markets showing continued “robust”growth in air cargo volumes.

Even though some of its key metrics dropped sequentially from August to September, the outlook for manufacturing over all remains strong, according to the most recent edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business issued today by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Company officials said that these planned changes, which will take effect on January 4, 2015, will provide for increases in current pay rates and reduce the time it takes for its nearly 15,000 drivers to reach top pay scale.

While the economy has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, 2014 is different in that it could be the best year from an economic output perspective in the last several years. That outlook was offered up by Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Matching last week, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline dropped 2.3 cents, bringing the average price per gallon to $3.755 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Article Topics

News · Motor Freight · 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