Armada Intelligence
Category archives for: Supply Chain

Interesting Contra-View from the BDI. $


Remember when the Baltic Dry Index hit a new all-time low earlier in 2015 and everybody blew it off because they said the data was skewed by overcapacity in the bulk commodity maritime shipping sector?  Well, we wonder what their reaction would be today as we see the BDI now move up fairly sharply. Would […]

Industrial Production and Transportation.

We wrote about this several weeks ago, but there is a strong correlation between the manufacturing IPI and trucking shipment counts. But, if we look at the IPI for manufacturing mid-way through 2015, we see a pretty weak environment. Last year, we ended the year with nearly 3.5% growth (segments of trucking grew about 4.9%). […]

Morgan Stanley Truckload Index a Bit Worrisome. $

We keep looking for every little bit of data that can give us an idea of where the economy is headed. You know that we like the transportation sector as one of the leading indicators of economic activity. When the national supply chain is moving, the economy is moving.

New Data on Freight Volumes Showing Much Weaker. $

Just using some plain talk, those of us who watch the supply chain closely are still looking for the summer pick-up – and it just isn’t coming. What we want to see is an increase in volumes in June carrying over into July to show that companies are building inventories leading up to the peak […]

June Spot Market Volumes in Trucking Were Terrible. $

We have been monitoring the DAT Boards (which track millions of national shipments a year in the spot trucking sector). The latest release of the DAT Trendlines report for all of June showed us some deterioration that frankly, we didn’t expect.

Where are the Volumes (i.e where is the economic growth)? $

The latest weekly rail traffic gauge from the Association of American Railroads shows us that rail volumes across the board are slowing. Just about every metric in the AAR report was either flat or declining through week 25.

Sensing a Turn in Transportation.

We have been looking for the transportation sector to start taking a turn for the better – to confirm what other data sources are seemingly showing as economic recovery. We may finally be seeing some of that turn.   We look to our stand by favorite from the Association of American Railroads. The weekly carload […]

El Nino and the Pacific $

For the most obvious of reasons the majority of the attention in the media has been on the impact of the El Nino phenomenon on the US – at least that is the focus of the US media. The conclusion is that it will be a major factor to contend with but that it will […]

Wholesale Inventories Sent the Wrong Signal. $

We saw just a very slight improvement in wholesale inventories in April.  You know that we have been waiting for this figure because of the implications of what it means to the supply chain and transportation costs. Our only downside is that it is a lagging data point; the Census Bureau is just releasing data […]

Wow, Latest AAR Report Not Good. $


If you have been with us for a while, you know that we like the AAR weekly carload report. It gives us a very active, real time barometer of what is happening in the broader economy. As a proxy for US inputs and finished goods movement, what happens in the transportation sector is generally what’s […]

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