Archive for February, 2015

Confidence Among Consumers Falls as Elation Over Lower Fuel Prices Wanes

Consumer confidence fell more than forecast in February as the initial elation over a drop in fuel prices waned and Americans grew less optimistic about prospects for employment and income. A recent increase in gasoline costs from a six-year low may be curbing the enthusiasm of some households after a plunge in prices last year […]

FTC Looks to Stop Merger Combining Two of Nation’s Largest Private Fleets

The Federal Trade Commission has filed an administrative complaint charging that the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition nationwide and in 32 local markets for foodservice distribution services. Sysco operates the second largest private truck fleet, while U.S. Foods is ranked as fifth, according to […]

DAT: Spot Freight Rates, Volume Post Seasonal Decline in January

Spot market freight volume declined seasonally in January, falling 11% from an atypical December high, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Volume also plummeted 27% compared to the same time in 2014. It was the first year-over-year decline in 19 months for the index that measures truckload freight demand and capacity.

Driver Shortage Makes Capitalizing on Low Oil Hard for Truckers

A chronic shortage of drivers means America’s long-haul trucking companies are struggling to capitalize on cheap fuel prices that could allow them to take goods shipments away from railroads. A 50 percent fall in oil prices from their peak last year should have erased some of the cost advantage railroads enjoy, especially for longer hauls.

Drewry: 2014 Congestion cost US West Coast ports up to 150,000 TEUs

(This article requires registration at the Journal of Commerce. To access, please click on the above link.) Port congestion on the U.S. West Coast is estimated to have caused the diversion of as much as 150,000 TEUs to East Coast ports during 2014, according to Drewry’s Container Insight Weekly.

Hub Group: US intermodal rail service to begin hitting mid-2013 levels this summer

(This article requires registration at the Journal of Commerce. To access, please click on the above link.) The Hub Group said U.S. intermodal rail service deteriorated further in the fourth quarter from the prior quarter, but it’s now seeing improvement and service could start approaching levels last seen in mid-2013, before last year’s harsh winter, […]

Driver Issues May Hurt Trucking Industry Growth in 2015

Analysts at GE Capital compiled a list of expected trucking industry trends for 2015. GE highlighted expected outlooks for Freight, Equipment and Rates and Capacity. The analysts believe that carriers were benefitting from an ideal supply and demand environment entering 2015 with profits strengthened by freight trends, pricing leverage due to tight capacity, and lower […]

US intermodal volume experiences strong 2015 start

(This article requires registration at the Journal of Commerce. To access, please click on the above link.) Weekly U.S. rail volume hit an all-time high in January and traffic for the entire month was the second-highest ever — even as U.S. West Coast port congestion has hampered international intermodal traffic and spurred some shippers to […]

Hub Group: US intermodal rail service to begin hitting mid-2013 levels this summer

(This article requires registration at the Journal of Commerce. To access, please click on the above link.) The Hub Group said U.S. intermodal rail service deteriorated further in the fourth quarter from the prior quarter, but it’s now seeing improvement and service could start approaching levels last seen in mid-2013, before last year’s harsh winter, […]

Consumer Confidence Falls as Gas Prices Start to Rise

Consumer confidence fell in February as gas prices started to rise from a six-year low and damped Americans’ optimism about the economy. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index decreased to 93.6 from a final January reading of 98.1 that was the highest since the start of 2004. The median projection in a Bloomberg […]