American Trucking Associations has issued a white paper critical of the reliability of scores from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program designed to evaluate the safety of individual trucking companies.
North American shipment volume continued on a downward path in November, according to the Cass Freight Index. The dip was not unexpected, as this is the same weak year-end movement observed for the last three years. Stronger than expected manufacturing activity and shipments of seasonal goods offset a general slowing of freight movements to temper the drop in shipment levels.
Results published by the Canadian General Freight Index (CGFI) indicate that the total cost of ground transportation for Canadian shippers increased by 1.1 percent in September when compared with August results.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration has dedicated the California Green Trade Corridor, which is designed to take freight traffic off California's congested I-580 by offering shippers an option to move cargo along the waterways between the Ports of Oakland, Stockton and Sacramento.
October was a depressed month for freight and the economy in general. The number of shipments and freight expenditures both declined from September, by 3.5 and 2.6 percent, respectively. This marks only the second time this year that both indexes declined in the same month. (Shipment volume in April dropped 3.5 percent, but expenditures fell only 1.6 percent.) The 16-day federal government shutdown is partly to blame for the declines, but prior to the shutdown the economy was already exhibiting signs of a cool down.
Total intermodal traffic grew in the third quarter of 2013 by 4.7 percent, year-over-year, attributable to gains across the board, according to the Intermodal Association of North America. Domestic container volume continued to lead intermodal growth, posting a year-over-year increase of 9.4 percent, and combined with a 1.2 percent boost in intermodal trailer volume for the same period, all domestic equipment experienced 7.6 percent year-over-year gains during the third quarter of 2013.
Carriers are becoming increasingly anxious about finding good drivers. Good drivers want to know why, in a time of shortage, they are not being rewarded better. And shippers are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping trucks will continue to be readily available - and affordable.
Used truck dealers continue to characterize business as "good" or even better than expected, although maybe not quite as strong as they had hoped, according to the latest release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research.
September is typically the second-weakest order month of the year for Class 8, so modest activity was expected. Class 8 net orders were 19,018 units. Meanwhile, the medium duty market was able to mostly offset a sharp pullback in bus orders to net 16,745 units in orders. This updated status of the North America commercial vehicle market was included in the State of the Industry report, recently released by ACT Research Co. (ACT). The report covers Classes 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American market.