Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Trucking news: Cass Freight Index is up in September

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 04, 2010

Even though the economy remains stuck in neutral, it appears that the trucking market may be gaining some sustained momentum, based on the September edition of the Cass Information Systems Freight Index.

For the second straight month, the index, which measures the number of shipments and expenditures that are processed through Cass’s account payable systems, showed growth, and has been up in six of the last seven months.

September shipments at 1.116 were 1.9 percent higher than August’s 1.095 and have been over the 1.0 mark for five straight months, with May marking the first time shipments topped 1.0 since November 2008.

September shipment expenditures at 2.031 were 2.9 percent higher than September’s 1.971 and 9.8 percent higher than July’s 1.832 and 23.4 percent higher than September 2009’s 1.556.

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.

The ATA recently reported that its seasonally-adjusted August tonnage index was down from July and up year-over-year.

As LM has reported, in the first half of 2010, many shippers, carriers and analysts said they were optimistic about the trucking market, especially when comparing it to 2009. But since then there have been various economic reports, including today’s federal government report that second quarter GDP growth fell to 1.7 percent from the first quarter, and others which indicate the recovery is slowing down.

Some other signs of a slowing economy are also evident, with unemployment still high, retail sales down, and consumer confidence falling. These factors all have the potential to bring tonnage growth down in the coming months.

And at last week’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in San Diego many shippers and carriers indicated that there is an underlying sense of caution in play when assessing trucking volumes and where they may be heading in the coming months.

One recurring theme heard from CSCMP attendees was that whatever recovery is occurring may now be led by manufacturing, rather than consumer spending, which typically accounts for 70 percent of all economic activity.

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

Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities recently voiced his endorsement of this trade legislation

While many auto executives expect more industry recalls in 2015 and 2016, just 8 percent use advanced predictive analytics to help prevent, prepare for, and manage recalls, according to a recent online poll from Deloitte.

Purolator white paper highlights common Canadian shipping mistakes. From failing to appreciate the complexity of the customs clearance process to not realizing that Canada recognizes both French and English as its official languages, U.S. businesses frequently misjudge the complexity of shipping to the Canadian market. This often results in mistakes - mistakes that can come with hefty penalties and border clearance delays, and that can result in lingering negative perceptions among Canadian consumers.

At a certain point, it seems like the ongoing truck driver shortage cannot get any worse, right? Well, think again, because of myriad reasons we could well be in the very early innings of a game that is, and continues, to be hard to watch. That was made clear in a report issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), entitled “Truck Driver Analysis 2015.”

Coming off of 2014, which in many ways is viewed as a banner year for freight, it appears that some tailwinds have firmly kicked in, as 2015 enters its official homestretch, according to Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics (SOL) Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Diego. The SOL report is sponsored by Penske Logistics.


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

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA