Economy Watch

The truck driver shortage in the U.S. apparently is becoming "more pervasive" despite higher pay and retention efforts by for-hire trucking companies, data released by the American Trucking Associations suggests.

The frequency of spot market loads from Los Angeles is increasing as the West Coast container logjam begins to break.
Signs that the container logjam in Southern California is beginning to break are showing up on the truck spot market, as deconsolidated loads come up for grabs at West Coast warehouses.

Net orders for trailers in the U.S. dropped for the second month in February, but manufacturers will be busy for several months fulfilling an immense backlog of orders.

The British government will consider ways to reduce a shortage of truck drivers that shippers and carriers say threatens economic growth in the U.K., including finding funds for driver training.

Facing higher transportation costs and a shift in consumer demand, shippers are changing how and what kind of apparel they import into the U.S.: opting for less expensive cargo that can be packed and stacked over luxury goods shipped on the hanger.

India’s merchandise exports in February plunged 15 percent from a year earlier to $21.5 billion, following an 11.2 percent decrease in January, marking the lowest value in three years, according to provisional figures released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Rising truckload freight demand lead Landstar System and Covenant Transportation to expand their available capa


The number of job openings in the U.S. transportation and warehousing industries increased 23 percent year-over-year in January, but businesses in those industries lost more workers than they hired that month, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

As the U.S. heads toward what some economists consider “full employment,” trucking companies tracked by the Labor Department hired an additional 2,600 workers in February, pushing the monthly JOC.com Trucking Employment Index reading up to 99.9.

Even before congestion begins to clear West Coast ports, freight shipping activity in the U.S. is rising, a trend that will put more pressure on freight rates and capacity, according to the Cass Freight Index.