Economy

Learning from a crash course

Such opportunities will increase as the economy struggles to get on its feet, and trucking already is ahead of the curve. It’s easy in the flush of good times to forget lessons so clearly illustrated during hardship. It’s best not to.

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Rebounding factories slow a bit in September

The recovery is still on, but it’s getting winded. That’s the conclusion of the Institute for Supply Management, which released its monthly manufacturing report today. While ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index “reading of 54.4 percent is still quite positive, the overall picture is less encouraging,” says ISM’s Norbert Ore. “The growth of new orders continued to slow... Production is currently growing at a faster rate than new orders, but it typically lags and would be expected to ...

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Confidence lackluster, but factories humming

Tuesday’s report on consumer confidence was a bit sour, even though the index was up a tad. “Overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future," said an official with The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, which manages the survey. But, hey, that’s just a survey of how people feel. A report this morning shows that manufacturing, which has a more direct impact on trucking, continues to improve. One of the most active manufacturing sectors was transportation equipment, ...

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Just one word. Are you listening?

The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly report on factory output lists Plastics (with rubber products) as the fastest growing segment. The news remains strong overall for manufacturing, which had its 12th consecutive month of expansion.

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Manufacturing still growing, but more slowly

The recovery is still with us, note the factory-watchers at the Institute for Supply Management. The manufacturing sector expanded in June for the 11th consecutive month, though at a less heated pace than in May. The overall economy for the 14th consecutive month in June. Of course, the housing and labor markets still suffer. The first affects flatbed freight, though flatbed seems to have enough other business to have started the year well. First-quarter data from ATBS ...

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Paper products leading factory growth

The latest news from manufacturers, reporting a strong May, backs up reports that freight is growing. Manufacturing expanded in May for the 10th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 13th consecutive month, according to the supply executives polled for the Institute for Supply Management’s Report On Business. “Employment continues to grow as manufacturers have added to payrolls for six consecutive months,” says Norbert J. Ore of ISM. “The recovery continues to broaden as 16 ...

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A shortage of drivers — and quality

I've been hearing since at least March that many carriers are once again scrounging for drivers. This means a return to business as usual in terms of a driver shortage, only this time it could more severe than normal. The reasons by now are well-known. The economy has been bouncing back. Imminent safety-related regulations -- notably Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 -- are expected to push a significant number of drivers out of the cab. Our friends at the ...

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‘Flatbed is particularly strong’ and other upbeat news

Lots of good economic reports all around for trucking in the last few days. If you’re not with a carrier who’s keeping you busy, figure out why or look elsewhere. Morgan Stanley’s truckload freight research report “continues to show strong trends … Flatbed is particularly strong.” Consequently, by the fourth quarter this year, on an annual basis, “rate increases of 4-5% should now be the base case. If fuel prices spike and a material restocking takes place, ...

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Factories humming; inventories start growing

Today’s report on manufacturing shows it expanded in March for the eighth consecutive month, says the Institute for Supply Management, which does a monthly survey of supply executives. The good news mirrors what many in the trucking industry have said in recent weeks about freight demand – and driver demand with it – picking up. ISM also says the overall economy grew for the 11th consecutive month. “The rate of growth as indicated by the PMI (Purchasing ...

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Saying goodbye to Michigan’s Te-Khi and Tekon independent truckstops

Soft freight and high fuel got you down? You're not alone. Though business for the nation's truckers has picked up since the extremely slow period we all saw last year, difficulties continue for many, and for two independent truckstops in Michigan the pressures were just too much. Writing in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Andy Fitzpatrick told a story today at once of long-running business difficulties brought to the breaking point and rich, well-remembered history.   The Te-Khi Travel Court ...

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