In The U.S., A Transportation Recession Has Already Officially Arrived
Freight shipments within the US by all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – fell 5.9% in July 2019, compared to July 2018, the eighth month in a row of year-over-year declines, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments, which tracks shipments of consumer and industrial goods but not of bulk commodities such as grains. This decline along with the 6.0% drop in May were the steepest year-over-year declines in freight shipments since the Financial Crisis
When something happens for eight months in a row, that is definitely a trend, and we haven’t seen declines of this magnitude since the last recession.
And other numbers confirm what the Cass Freight Index is telling us. For example, ACT Research says that the trucking industry is officially in a recession after “two consecutive quarters of negative growth”…
The trucking industry is officially in a recession, according to data tracked by ACT Research.
After months of suggesting a pullback was possible, ACT President Kenny Vieth told FreightWaves on Thursday, July 11 that all metrics his firm tracks meet the technical definition of a recession – two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
“Every freight metric we look at has been negative for at least six months,” he said.
Of course it is possible that the transportation industry could pull out of this recession without the U.S. economy as a whole dipping into one, but I wouldn’t count on it this time.