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Global Freight Volumes Shrink as World Economy Stalls - Report

Logistic News - Published on Wed, 17 Jul 2019

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Reuters reported that freight volumes in the United States and around the world are falling, signalling tougher times for manufacturers amid escalating trade tensions and heightened uncertainty. Freight volumes in the United States were up by just 0.8% in the three months from March to May compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The agency’s transportation services index said that volumes fell YoY in May, for the first time in more than two and half years. Freight is growing at the slowest rate since the mid-cycle slowdown of 2015-16, based on the index, which covers movements by truck, railroad, barge, pipeline and air cargo. Truck volumes were still up 3.4% YoY in March-May, but growth was less than half the rate at the same time last year. Containerised rail traffic actually fell 3.8% in March-May after increasing by 6.9% in the same period a year previously.

The slowdown within the United States is part of a broader global downturn in freight which has spread across Europe and Asia.

At Hong Kong’s International Airport, the busiest air cargo hub in the world, reported volumes shrank by 8% in the second quarter compared with 2018.

London Heathrow’s cargo was down by 6% in the second quarter, the worst performance since the recession in 2009.

California’s Port of Long Beach, one of the major entry points for trans-Pacific cargo, reported container volumes down almost 11% YoY in April-June.

Los Angeles, the other major cargo entry point on the U.S. West Coast, continued to eke out growth, but container trade was up by just 1%.

Globally, trade volumes were up by just 0.4% in the three months from February to April, according to the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis.

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Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Wed, 17 Jul 2019
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