Economy Watch

Intra-Asia trade will increasingly benefit from the rapid growth of consumption in Asia as a higher percentage of cargo is shipped to end markets in the region instead of to destinations in other parts of the world.

Freight volumes sputtered in March, climbing 1.4 percent from February and dropping 1.5 percent year-over-year, while shipper spending on transportation dropped 1 percent from February and was down 7 percent from March 2015, according to the Cass Freight Index.

U.S. retail sales may have dropped in March, but demand for toys, especially those related to Disney’s hit movie Frozen, created a surge in containerized toy imports and boosted sales for Hasbro.

Import cargo volume at the largest U.S. container gateways has begun its seasonal rise, but is expected to be largely flat compared with last year’s record high numbers, the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said in their monthly Port Tracker report.

Canada’s Dicom Transportation Group is driving deeper into U.S. markets as it pursues cross-border and last-mile freight and packages.

The value of California’s exports declined in most categories in February according to the Beacon Economics monthly report, although Beacon’s projection for the rest of the year is “tepidly optimistic.”

Home to some of the world’s largest economies, North America is a critical source of transportation industry traffic and growth. Maersk Line North America President Mike White sat down with JOC Senior Content Editor Alessandra Barrett at TPM 2016 to discuss the medium-term prospects of this crucial market.

The U.S. economy gained jobs in March, but not the trucking industry. The number of employees on for-hire trucking payrolls dropped for the second straight month in March, send a warning to carriers about wages and shippers about capacity.

U.S. truck tonnage leaped 7.2 percent in February, after declining a revised 0.3 percent in January, the American Trucking Associations said March 22. Will March gains be as strong?

With U.S. truckload capacity at its highest level since the recession, and freight demand slow to rise, truck shippers increasingly are resisting rate increases, the latest indices from Cass and Avondale Partners indicate.