Gauges: Numbers that affect and reflect your business – March 2009

U.S. cargo thefts rise
Cargo thefts spiked 13 percent from 2007 to 2008, increasing from 45 to 51 reported thefts monthly, says Dan Burges of FreightWatch International USA in Austin, Texas. The most freight was stolen in Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Atlanta and Memphis. Last year, theft tripled in Ohio and increased along the I-95 corridor through New Jersey and southward. Stolen pharmaceuticals were the most costly in dollar value of the 10 commodities the agency tracked. Cargo heists in Mexico have become increasingly aggressive. “Cargo theft gangs are very confrontational and use techniques such as ‘jump ups,’ fake police checkpoints and weapons,” Burges says.


Diesel Prices
National average: $2.05
Diesel prices fell for nine consecutive weeks after Jan. 12 but were $1.09 more per gallon than 10 years ago.


COSTS
Costs per mile across all segments were 7 cents less in the fourth quarter than in the same period in 2007. Fourth-quarter miles fell year-over-year for dry van and flatbed but increased for reefers, according to financial services provider ATBS.


BORDER TRADE
Surface trade between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners, Canada and Mexico, was 13.1 percent lower in December 2008 year-over-year, dropping to $52.9 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. December was the second straight month with a year-to-year decline of more than 13 percent.


SHIPPING RATES
Surface trade between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners, Canada and Mexico, was 13.1 percent lower in December 2008 year-over-year, dropping to $52.9 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. December was the second straight month with a year-to-year decline of more than 13 percent.

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