Economy

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

Is it recovery yet?

It’s hard some weeks to stack up the economic reports and figure if things are getting better or worse. This week was no exception.

Read More

A confident public and stronger freight

Two bits of news breaking Wednesday offered some encouragement that the economy, and trucking with it, will continue rebounding.

Read More

Index at year’s highest level

The seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7 percent in November.

Read More

A creeping, sputtering recovery

It appears that trucking and the economy will be slouching toward health and stability during 2010. Here are forecasts from three sources.

Read More

Manufacturing sustains its hot streak in November

Manufacturing monitor ISM issued a good news, bad news report today, but the good outweighs the bad.    The sector expanded in November for the fourth consecutive month, says the Institute for Supply Management. The downside is that the rate of growth is less than a month ago, and less than analysts expected.    “The signs are still encouraging for continuing growth as both new orders and production are still at very positive levels,” says Norbert Ore, ...

Read More

Truck dealers analyze a year’s anemic sales

It still appears to be a buyer’s market for Class 8 trucks, according to a report from the truck dealers’ trade group. It’s been “a year of heavy depreciation for the highway sleeper market,” says the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide. Considering the depressed conditions, prices could have dropped even lower, says Chris Visser, editor of the guide. "Anecdotal evidence suggests that an extremely active export market helped keep the domestic supply of used trucks at ...

Read More

Chalk it up as a decent quarter

There was a mixed bag of trucking-related economic reports Friday, though the good seems to outweigh the bad. The American Truck Dealers, citing trade press reports, notes that third-quarter earnings reports from fleets show freight volumes appear to be rising, though revenues aren’t keeping pace. Also, U.S. truck tonnage fell 7.3 percent in September from the same month last year. That’s not good news unless you consider that it was the best year-to-year monthly showing since ...

Read More

Landstar optimistic in spite of lower earnings

Landstar System Inc., reported its share of lower revenue and income numbers in its third-quarter earnings statement, but the nation’s largest owner-operator carrier also sees a turnaround taking shape. The company earned $20 million from revenue of $501 million in the quarter that ended. Sept. 30. Comparable net income a year ago was $33 million from revenue of $733  million. The good news/bad news, from Henry Gerkens, president and CEO: “Notable 2009 third-quarter over 2008 third-quarter revenue ...

Read More