Tallies, totals and other trend data in the freight transportation realm



FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index fell to -23.1 in March, the most negative reading ever for the index, FTR reported on May 23. The reading followed what had been the record low in February of -17.9.  “Fuel costs, labor costs, and ongoing congestion across the supply chain are going to keep the pressure high on shippers as we move into the summer months,” said Todd Tranausky, FTR’s vice president of rail and intermodal. “There is little relief in sight, though there is the potential for downside economic pressure to reduce demand in the second half. But that is far from certain and also not the ideal way for shippers to experience better conditions and more capacity in their supply chains.”


“With the lack of real (or GOOD) news from the RRs while I was away 1 positive thing might have gone unnoticed: UP joining NS et al in visibility project Rail Pulse–that likely being the game changer for RP, a game-changer for rail. Expect more C1s on board ‘soon’!" — June 13 tweet from independent transportation analyst Tony Hatch / @ABHatch18


Schneider National achieved more than half of its 2025 emissions goal by reducing its CO2 per mile by 5% over its 2020 baseline, the company says in its recently issued 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report. “Ramped up our intermodal capacity, this past year we increased our container capacity by 15%, and we look to double capacity by 2030 to cut CO2 emissions another 700 million pounds per year,” company officials added. 


In May, global container prices “soared” month over on month at an average of 5.4%, Container xChange officials announced on June 13. But average container prices and leasing rates continue to decline in China even as the country reopens after two months of lockdowns. “We expect a surge of containers onto the transpacific, leading to higher utilization of vessels on this route,” said Container xChange Cofounder and CEO Christian Roeloffs. “We could see a surge in spot rates especially with the upcoming peak season.” 


Overall new business volume in the equipment finance sector for April was $10.5 billion, up 7 percent year-over-year from new business volume in April 2021, according to The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index issued May 24. Volume was relatively unchanged from $10.6 billion in March. The index reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $900 billion equipment finance sector.


The global transportation management systems market is estimated to reach $389 billion in size by 2030, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%, from $96 billion in 2021, Straits Research announced in a report issued June 14. “Railways are the most dominant segment in the said market domain when segmented with respect to mode of transportation with a market value that stood at $30 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $125 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 17%,” Straits Research officials said.


Truck driver shortages “increased in all regions in 2021 except Eurasia,” officials from IRU said in a report issued June 16. In a survey of more than 1,500 commercial road transport operators in 25 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe, IRU found that shortages increased by 42% in Europe in 2021 compared with 2020’s total, with “open unfilled driver positions reaching 71,000 in Romania, 80,000 in both Poland and Germany, and 100,000 in the UK,” IRU officials said. “In Mexico shortages increased by 30% to reach 54,000; in China by 140% to reach 1.8 million. Higher driver wages in 2021, especially in Europe and the U.S., have not led to fewer shortages.” IRU represents more than 3.5 million companies operating road and multimodal transport services around the globe.


Execs in the equipment finance sector are slightly more confident this month about business conditions and expectations Confidence in the equipment finance market than they were last month, according to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s June 2022 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 50.9, compared with the May index of 49.6, the foundation announced on June 16. “Interest rates are a major concern,” said MCI-EFI survey respondent Glenn Davis, president of RESIDCO. “Uncertainties related to Fed action or inaction, as well as the continuing war in Ukraine will weigh heavily on the economy.”


“End of Shanghai COVID lockdown to gradually ease supply chain congestion: The Shanghai lockdown lifted on June 1st and operations are slowly returning to normal. All depots and warehouse operations in Shanghai have resumed operations, though drivers still need to show negative Covid-19 test results and health and travel documents. Trucking services capacity to and from Shanghai has improved to about 80%.” — Maersk Customer Advisory issued June 16   


American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2% in April after rising 1.8% in March, ATA announced on May 24. In April, the index equaled 115.8 (2015=100) vs. 118.2 in March. “After eight straight gains totaling 6.9%, for-hire tonnage finally slid back in April,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Despite being the largest sequential drop since August 2020, the index was still above where it started in 2022 and a year earlier.”


In June 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Standing General Order requiring “identified manufacturers and operators” to report to the agency certain crashes involving vehicles equipped with automated driving systems (ADS). “As of May 15, 2022, 25 reporting entities have submitted incident reports for 130 crashes involving ADS-equipped vehicles.” … “The major sources of ADS reports were telematics, field reports from reporting entity employees, and testing communications.” … “Waymo, Transdev and Cruise reported the most crashes.” Source: NHTSA Summary Report: Standing General Order on Crash Reporting for Automated Driving Systems, issued June 15. 


At 18,300 units, preliminary trailer orders in May were similar to April’s total — down 3% month over month and up 80% year over year, FTR announced on June 14. For the past 12 months, trailer orders totaled 250,000. “Conditions have changed little from April, as the industry continues to face economic uncertainties, geopolitical risks, and continued supply chain disruptions,” FTR officials said. “Until next year’s order boards open, the limited availability of build spots in the second half of the year will continue to restrict new trailer orders.”






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