The US Bureau of Economic Analysis estimate of first quarter GDP growth, released this week, was a paltry 0.1 percent annualized growth rate. However, this was to be expected, as we have noted many times on Logistics Viewpoints that economic activity was hindered by the especially drastic and widespread winter weather. As further confirmation that this downturn was temporary and weather related, earlier today the US Labor Department stated that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April – 11,300 of which were in transportation and warehousing.
- 6,800 trucking jobs added in April, unemployment rate tumbles
- Obama, Foxx send 4-year, $302B highway bill to Congress; trucking blasts tolling option
- CSX oil train derails in Virginia, leaks into river
- JDA Software Articulates Company Strategy at User Conference
- Over $1 Million Worth Of Counterfeit Guitars Seized In NJ
- C.H. Robinson Reports First Quarter Results
The US Economy added 288,000 in April, reducing the unemployment rate to to 6.3 percent, representing the lowest level in the last five years. According to overdriveonline.com, the for-hire trucking industry added 6,800 payroll jobs in April. Jobs gains were widespread across the transportation and warehousing segment, as job increases were also reported in support activities for transportation, couriers and messengers, and warehousing and storage.
The Obama Administration sent a $302 billion highway bill to Congress earlier this week. The Grow America Act, as it is named, includes $10 billion over four years for targeted investments in the nation’s transportation system that will improve the movement of freight. However, the ATA expressed disappointment with the bill, as stated in the ccjdigital article:
Trucking interests, however, are not impressed, taking particular issue with the bill’s giving states the authority to toll existing Interstates and with an expanded share of funding for transit and rail programs….“Any proposal that moves away from a user-fee funded transportation system is not going to be acceptable to the American trucking industry, period,” President and CEO Bill Graves said. “Furthermore, we have real questions about the viability of the administration’s plan to use one-time proceeds from an unspecified and unlikely to pass corporate tax reform idea, along with inefficient highway tolling or private capital financing.”
On Wednesday, A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed and burst into flames in Lynchburg, Virginia. Fifteen cars derailed and three fell down an embankment of the James River, broke into flames, and leaked oil into the river. The increase in rail transportation of crude from the shale gas sources in the Dakotas, along with the recent uptick in rail disasters, has propelled rail safety to the forefront of public and regulatory agendas. This incident may expedite the development of additional safety regulations.
JDA Software held its annual user conference this week. During the conference, JDA managment discussed the company’s recently refined corporate strategy. As part of this strategy, the company has organized its offering into five suites of adjacent and complementary solutions. These suites include Distribution-Centric Supply Chain, Manufacturing Planning, Retail Planning, Collaborative Category Management, and Store Operations. Interoperability between historically disparate functions and planning and execution processes were central tenets of the company’s vision. We will provide a more detailed overview of JDA’s strategy in a post next week.
Guitar enthusiats beware, over $1 million worth (valued as authentic or counteirfeit?) of counterfeit guitars were seized in New Jersey mail facility earlier this week. Be careful of those cheap guitars sold online, they may truely too good to be true. Here’s a quote from the article:
These guitars bore the trademarks of fancypants guitars from the likes of Gibson, Les Paul, Paul Reed Smith, and Martin, but were far more shoddily constructed and packaged than the real thing. And upon further investigation, authorities reportedly discovered at least 180 counterfeit guitars, with faux-Epiphone, Fender, Taylor, and Ernie Ball trademarks in addition to the aforementioned ones.
C.H. Robinson reported its first quarter fiscal results this week. Total revenues increased by 5 percent, while net revenues increased by less than 1 percent. The first two months of the quarter were slow, while total net revenues increased significantly in March due to growth in North American truckload net revenues. Capacity constraints resulting from the inclement weather was stated as a factor negatively affecting business during the quarter. As a highlight, Other logistics services net revenues, which include transportation management services, warehousing, and small parcel, increased 8.0 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.
Have a great weekend everyone!!