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January results in truck tonnage indexes and logistics managers.

Truck tonnage started the year on a decline, with both annual and monthly decreases in January, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), dampening hopes for a turnaround in the industry’s recessionary trend.

ATA’s Truck Rental Tonnage Index fell by 4.7% compared to the previous year, and by 3.5% compared to December. Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, noted that winter weather and declines in key sectors like retail sales and manufacturing production impacted transportation volumes, challenging expectations of a recovery. ATA’s Truck Tonnage Index is calculated from surveys of its members.

On the other hand, the Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI) showed an increase in January, with a reading of 55.6 compared to 54.7 from the previous year. Researchers from various U.S. universities, in collaboration with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, compile the report monthly. An LMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the logistics sector, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

En la imagen se muestran camiones, referenciando el índice de tonelaje de camiones

Dale Rogers, a Business Professor at Arizona State University, expressed optimism about the LMI’s growth, noting improvements in various metrics such as inventory levels and costs. He also highlighted an increase in transportation prices, suggesting an economic improvement, particularly significant after 20 months of stagnation in this regard.

Rogers stated that in January, employment growth in the U.S. remained solid, with new jobs created in sectors like retail, manufacturing, and information technology. As a result of these improvements, the U.S. Federal Reserve adjusted its stance on interest rates at its January meeting, adopting a more flexible position that could allow for expected rate cuts.

Although rates currently stand between 5.25% and 5.5%, analysts anticipate up to three rate cuts throughout 2024, with the first potentially occurring in the spring. This news is well-received in freight transportation markets, as high interest rates have hindered spending in earlier stages of supply chains, from which larger and bulkier shipments often originate.

En la imagen se muestra un camión nuevo

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