US Freight – Trucking, Rail, all of it – Goes to Heck

Thursday, November 12, 2015
By Paul Martin

by Wolf Richter
November 12, 2015

“A drawdown much like the one we saw in 2009 and 2010.”

Transportation is a gauge into how well the real economy is doing. And it just keeps getting worse.

In October, the number of freight shipments in North America fell from September, in line with the patterns of the past few years, but it fell more sharply than before. And year-over-year, shipments dropped 5.3% to hit the worst level for October since 2011, according to the Cass Freight Index, after having already plunged in the prior month to the worst level for a September since 2010.

Cass put it this way:

This month’s decline was much sharper than in recent years and can be directly correlated to falling imports and exports as well as decreased domestic manufacturing levels. Burdened by bloated inventories, and under the shadow of a possible interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, businesses cut back on new orders placed in the last three or four months. This is resulting in lower import volumes, less freight to move, and faltering industrial production. With the dollar still strengthening, export growth decelerated in the third quarter.

The Rest…HERE

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