Economy Watch

Economy news, data, and analysis with a focus on how changing economic trends can impact the shipping and transportation industries. Our focus on world economy news looks at economic growth and challenges around the world from the United States and China to the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Commentary

The wind is at the intermodal sector’s back in the North American markets, but there is one headwind that, and as of now, the scope and ultimate impact is unknown. 

News & Analysis

21 Oct 2019
A survey of small businesses shows truckers still looking for growth ahead, despite a tough market in 2019.
15 Oct 2019
Shippers are being urged to plan carefully for 2020, as signs begin to indicate the US truck market may swing again next year.
08 Oct 2019
In his keynote address at the JOC TPM Asia Conference in Shenzhen, Cosco's Wang Haimin said US tariffs are accelerating the shift of production of furniture, tires, machinery, and footwear from China to Southeast Asia.
24 Sep 2019
Trucking is experiencing slow growth, not a collapse, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says, with retail sales and contract business sustaining demand.
24 Sep 2019
The retail and restaurant businesses are growing and generating freight, but they’re being reshaped in ways that will challenge their transportation partners.
20 Aug 2019
One of the few positive indicators in trucking is the ATA Tonnage Index, which rose 7.3 percent in July year over year -- a signal that some don’t believe the industry is in turmoil.
24 Jul 2019
With rates and freight demand low, smaller trucking operators may be increasingly up for grabs.
16 Jul 2019
Uncertainty clouds the freight outlook beyond August, as spot truck rates cool in July after rising in June and US inventories remain high.
15 Jul 2019
Older vessels and jockeying for cargo are crimping the health of the breakbulk sector, which can be seen in recent rate data.
21 Jun 2019
Truckload carriers surveyed by Cowen & Co. are banking on a stronger second half and expect contract rates to rise 2.7 percent on average over the next six months.
20 Jun 2019
A sharp decline in shipper spending and freight volumes causes some to sound the recession alarm, but others still see slower growth, not steep decline, amid tariff threats.
04 Jun 2019
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is calling for the expansion of the NAFTA free-trade zone throughout the Americas, as well as improvements in labor productivity at home.
28 May 2019
Economists and shipping industry leaders warn the US-China trade war could be a potential tipping point for a global economy that was already cooling before President Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
23 May 2019
The rise of populist governments is crimping the outlook for free trade, according to Boris Glass, senior economist with S&P Global Ratings.
23 May 2019
Seasonal adjustments and other factors may have amplified a surprising truck tonnage gain reported by the American Trucking Associations last month.
20 May 2019
At a time when freight volumes should be increasing, they’re slowing, casting a shadow over the outlook for US trucking and intermodal rail operators.
22 Apr 2019
US containerized imports from Asia dropped 0.5 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2019, after rising 15.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the PIERS data, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit
19 Apr 2019
The World Trade Organization has downgraded its 2019 outlook for world trade growth to 2.6 percent from a 3 percent clip in 2018, and global manufacturing is weakening.
18 Apr 2019
Chainalytics sees contract truckload rates turning ‘negative’ year over year as oversupply hits softer US freight demand.
04 Apr 2019
With cross-border freight already delayed and logistics costs rising, businesses must plan for a potential closure of the US-Mexico border threatened by President Trump.
04 Mar 2019
IHS Markit Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh tells TPM 2019 slowing global economic growth puts the odds of a recession at 3-to-1, with a likelihood of a worldwide recession in 2020 at 50-50.
01 Feb 2019
The US economy won't run off the road this year, but keep an eye on trade, tariffs, and 2020, economists say at SMC3's Jump Start 2019 event.
Knight-Swift Transportation.
17 Jan 2019
Knight-Swift projects higher fourth-quarter, first-quarter earnings, but analysts are not doing the same for 2019 truckload pricing forecasts.
Port of Montreal.
10 Jan 2019
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which took effect Dec. 30, will contain 495 million consumers.
Port of Los Angeles.
08 Jan 2019
"With the holiday season behind us, the immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed, but retailers remain concerned about tariffs and their impact on the nation’s economy,” said Jonathan Gold, the NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
A warehouse / distribution center in the United States with workers.
04 Jan 2019
Even with a US recovery in its 10th year, the transportation and warehouse sectors continue to register strong monthly job growth.
Maersk containers, vessel at port of Paranagua.
20 Dec 2018
After a damaging truck strike, holiday trade gains are expected to be sub-par — although it is historically a time of demand growth.
A warehouse in the United States.
14 Dec 2018
US freight volumes are still growing. Equally significant, the international political climate that affected imports, exports, and trade flows in 2018 could do so again in 2019.
A Maersk Line ship in the Pacific Ocean.
04 Dec 2018
The export/import surge was propelled by a combination of factors.
A truck transport a wind generator blade.
20 Nov 2018
In the next two decades, project construction and transport sectors can expect electricity generation to grow in importance, as emerging nations, particularly those in Asia, shift toward light industry, service economies, and digitization.
Trucks travel on a US highway.
16 Nov 2018
Higher freight volumes and shipper spending reported by the Cass Freight Index show that while the US economy may be expanding more slowly in late 2018, it is not on the verge of a contraction.
Brazil beef.
16 Nov 2018
Almost immediately after Bolsonaro’s announcement, Egypt canceled a trade mission from Brazil that had been scheduled to promote exports, such as beef, chicken, and various fruits.
Alexandria port.
16 Nov 2018
“In my personal opinion, yes [Egypt does need capacity]. I really think there is a growth story. There is congestion and a need for higher-quality infrastructure,” said Khaled Nageib, CEO and president of Egyptian Ports Development Group, a private-sector company engaged in the development of domestic and international ports.
Trucks travel on a US highway.
15 Nov 2018
The changes across the US transportation landscape, from a trade war with mainland China to seemingly unstoppable e-commerce growth, require from logistics managers a drill-like precision and agility and closer collaboration with carriers.
Trucks parked in Louisiana, United States.
02 Nov 2018
If shippers reorganized efficiently and put an end to procurement teams focused solely on price and transactions instead of supply chain efficiency, we would have more drivers available and motivated to take time to train and become more valuable as well as get paid more.