The Phaserl


Freight Shipments Hammered by Inventory Glut, Weak Demand

from Wolf Street:

The transportation sector just keeps getting worse. Even after today’s uptick, the Dow Jones Transportation Average is back where it was in April 2014, and down 18% from its peak a year ago. Within this transportation sector is freight, a gauge of the goods-based economy, which is having a rough time.

In November, the number of freight shipments in North America plunged 5.1% from a year ago, according to the Cass Freight Index. It hit the worst level for any November since 2011.

The index is based on $28 billion in freight transactions processed by Cass on behalf of its client base of “hundreds of large shippers,” Cass explains. It covers shipments, regardless of the mode of transportation, including shipments by truck and rail. It does not cover bulk commodities. Shippers include companies in consumer packaged goods, food, automotive, chemical, OEM, heavy equipment, and retail.

This index of shipment volume has been lower year-over-year every month, with the exception of January and February, which makes for an increasingly awful looking year:


Reasons for these lousy shipment volumes are spread throughout the economy, including a litany of big retailers that have come forward with crummy results and disappointing projections.

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