AIR EXPRESS, TRUCKING FIRMS WEIGH DOWN TRANSPORT INDEX

AIR EXPRESS, TRUCKING FIRMS WEIGH DOWN TRANSPORT INDEX

The Journal of Commerce Transportation Stock Index declined slightly last week, reflecting in part softness in the industrial sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial average fell less than 0.5 percent. By contrast, The Journal of Commerce Transportation Stock Index declined by 1.65 percent. Weakness in the trucking, air express, railroad and container equipment sectors outweighed slight gains in the shipping sector.All of the air express companies tracked had declines in their stock prices last week, bringing the sector down by 2.5 percent. Volume reports from the Air Transport Association last week indicated a decline in international air cargo volume.

The trucking sector continued to have problems, posting an overall decline in stock prices of about 5 percent. Arkansas Best Corp. posted the biggest stock price decline, over 16 percent. Seven other companies also had stock price declines. Of the 10 companies tracked, only two didn't have a decline in their stock price.

The rail sector also had a slight decline in stock prices, but not as steep as other sectors. As a whole, the sector posted a decline of less than 1 percent. Of the nine companies tracked, five had declines in their stock price last week. CSX Corp. had the biggest price drop, a little over 3 percent.

Container equipment companies also had an overall price decline. Five of the seven companies tracked had stock price declines last week. PLM International, which manages transportation equipment and transportation investment syndicates, posted a decline of more than 10 percent.

Shipping remained stable. Bulk shipping stocks had an overall gain of about 1 percent, while container shipping remained virtually identical to its performance the previous week.

Of the 14 bulk shipping companies tracked, only five had stock price declines last week. Of the decliners, Global Ocean Carriers Ltd. and OMI Corp. had declines of 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Of the 15 container shipping companies tracked, six had stock price declines.