freight

You gotta know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em

Anyone who’s been to an intermodal port or seen the container ships that serve them knows there is no shortage of big colored boxes being stacked like giant Lego walls. They’re also shuffled all over the place, too often empty due to global imbalances in world trade. That deadhead costs the industry $7 billion a year, experts say. The Wall Street Journal reports, with an enviable headline, “Foldable Shipping Containers Try to Stack Up,” on a ...

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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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Spot freight index up 215% in February

Freight availability on the North American spot market in February more than tripled from a year earlier, based on the TransCore Freight Index. February’s increase of 215 percent marked the fifth consecutive month of improvement on a year-over-year basis and indicated unusually strong seasonal volume. The level for February, normally a weak month for spot freight, was within 5 percent of the record levels reached in 2004. The TransCore North America Freight Index measures truckload freight volume found ...

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Survey: Intermodal transport gains

Intermodal transport gained market share against trucks in the fourth quarter of 2009, reaching a new high in the process, an analysis by FTR Associates shows. Intermodal’s share of U.S. long-haul (550-plus miles) movements of international and domestic containerized freight was estimated to be 13.3 percent in the fourth quarter, up 0.2 percent from the third quarter and slightly above the previous high-water mark achieved in the 2008 fourth quarter. “Intermodal has gained share for three consecutive ...

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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.

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South Pole ice roads redux

More pictures from South African Antarctic research expedition -- now that's extreme intermodal.

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Clothes, fuel and computers lead factory report

Clothing was one of nine growing sectors that produced the fifth consecutive month of expansion for the nation’s manufacturing sector.

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Index at year’s highest level

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

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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.

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Jobs in transition — in more ways than one

As with the 2001 recession, there’s been much talk of a “jobless recovery.” It peaked with two reports in early November: Productivity increased 9.5 percent in the third quarter, while unemployment rose to 10.2 percent in October. Not all explanations for the productivity gain, one of the three biggest in the last 30 years, carry equal weight. New computer systems or factory-line robots or low-wage workers in India could have taken over duties formerly done by ...

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