Today’s Pickup: retail sales are up, trucking companies remain optimistic

(Photo: TruckStockImages)

Good day,

The US Retail sales data for April came out this morning reporting a .3% rise. With many in trucking having experienced a better than average first quarter most were optimistic about the remainder of 2018. Retail sales rose 4.7% from a year ago indicating the economy is still moving in a positive direction. With capital expenditures being the first thing companies abandon when times get rough trucking companies should be able to continue reinvesting in their fleets. 

J.D. Power’s Used Truck report  reported increases in 3,4, and five year trucks in the last month showing trucking companies are taking advantage of healthy first quarters in 2018. 

Did you know?

The average price of diesel is $3.239 this week. The last time diesel prices were at this level was the week of Christmas 2014. 


“We’re quite confident it has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation, and logistics.”

-Fred Smith CEO of FedEx Corp on Blockchain technology according to Bloomberg

In other news:

International announces formation of trucking industry council

International Truck announced the formation of an industry forum where commercial trucking industry stakeholders  can discuss emerging trends and topics driving industry change. (CCJ Digital)

UPS shares to rise 25% from automation and price increases: Analyst

UPS will announce a plan to improve profitability through automation and price increases this year causing Bank of America Merrill Lynch to up their rating expecting lowered costs. (CNBC)

Note to CEOs: Transportation and supply chain issues are demanding a place at the table

With many large companies reporting lowered financial performance due to increased transportation costs, it is getting many people’s attention. (Logisitics Management)

FedEx tests blockchain for cargo tracking

Logistics giant FedEx Corp is testing blockchain technology for tracking high value cargo, claiming it is the “next frontier” for worldwide supply chain. (DC Veolcity)

Capital spending boom is no great boost to capital markets

Capex spending by S&P 500 companies expected to rise 24% in the first quarter. Investors are wary.  (WSJ)

Final Thoughts:

With the majority of indicators showing the economy is is growing cautious optimism is prevalent within the trucking industry. We are entering the 9th consecutive year of economic growth in terms of GDP. Financial minded people know this is not a time where you will be able to purchase anything at a discount, so you will need to be able to maximize the value out of anything you purchase.

History tells us the economy will not climb forever without periods of contraction. Trucking companies should be investing in their operation and creating efficiencies, so they will be more able to weather the hard times without much disruption. The big shiny purchase may not be the  wisest. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Zach Strickland, FW Market Expert & Market Analyst

Zach Strickland, the “Sultan of SONAR,” curates the weekly market update. Zach is also a one of FreightWaves’ Market Experts. With a degree in Finance, Strickland spent the early part of his career in banking before transitioning to transportation in various roles and segments, such as truckload and LTL. He has over 13 years of transportation experience, specializing in data, pricing, and analytics.