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Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Coming off of a 4 percent gain in United States-bound waterborne shipments from January to February, shipments from March to April saw a 7 percent bump with 959,364 shipments, said Panjiva. And the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S.—at 139,337 was up 6 percent.
ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, said this week that net orders for North American Class 8 vehicles checked in at 38,100 units on a non-seasonally adjusted basis in April.
The truckload spot market in April was down 14 percent from April but showed a 12 percent annual gain compared to April 2010, said TransCore officials. They added that freight volumes in the South and Midwest regions of the U.S. were impacted most by the weather.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling in which it ordered $345 million in reparations and reductions from Class I railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) to two shippers, Western Fuels Association Inc. and Basin Electric Cooperative Inc.
Diesel prices decreased for just the fourth time in the last 24 weeks—and the second consecutive week—with a 4.3 cent decline to $4.061 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). This follows a 2 cent dip last week, which dropped the average price per gallon to $4.104.
First quarter intermodal loadings—3,292,291—were up 9.0 percent annually, as were the four major intermodal equipment categories tracked by IANA.
Freight movement needs a coordinated national freight strategic plan and dedicated source of funds in the next surface transportation bill, and major industry players need to be aggressive in selling that message to legislators obsessed with cutting federal transportation spending. That’s the word from the annual conference of Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, a ten-year-old Washington coalition of freight interests that includes shippers, builders, ports, intermodal interests, and other stakeholders.
During its first quarter earnings call, YRC stated the terms of its latest debt swap plan, and has engaged Morgan Stanley to arrange a new $400 million asset-based loan facility that CEO Bill Zollars says will “enhance our liquidity and strengthen our balance sheet.”
Monday, May 16, 2011
Despite data points that indicate the economy is firming, it may not always feel that way for shippers, especially these days. That was especially true with the recent release of the Shippers’ Condition Index (SCI) from FTR Associates.
The most recent edition of the Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates is calling for import cargo volume at major United States-based container ports to closely resemble last year, with a leveling off in May volumes.