Skip to content

Freight Shipment Volumes Plunge To Lowest In Two Years

Freight shipment volumes are rather obviously seasonal, but as Bloomberg Brief notes, the Cass Freight index shows shipment volumes have slumped for four consecutive months and are back to their worst levels in two years. This is the first year-over-year contraction since the 2007-2009 Great Recession – and places the reality of the dismal Q4 GDP print in context. If that wasn’t enough good news about the real economy, the cyclicality of the shipments are losing momentum (i.e. each seasonal rebound in the last three years has been weaker – just as we saw in the lead up to 2008) and freight expenditures fell in January leading to a 1.6% drop over the last year – compared to a 27.2% rise in January 2011, and 22.2% rise in January 2012. As Cass noted, these volumes will not be enough to “have a significant impact on the unemployment numbers.”

Cass Shipments (upper pane) are back at two-year lows but critically the momentum of each seasonal cycle (lower pane) has been weaker and weaker in recent years…


and Freight expenditure is now negative YoY for first time in three years…


Charts: Bloomberg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *