Armada Intelligence
Category archives for: Supply Chain

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 […]

Listen to Transportation $

When Wal-Mart, Target, GE, Honeywell, Honda, Ford, etc. all move, the transportation sector is the first to know it. Transportation companies (trucking, rail, air cargo, and maritime) are responsible for moving the inputs into early stage manufacturing cycles and the outputs of finished goods to destination for sale or consumption. It’s not too much of […]

Although Port Activity Resuming Normal, Weakness Showing Up. $

We can make a couple of estimates concerning volumes at the West Coast Ports. Here are some bulleted statistics from the ports concerning their volumes.

A Chart that tells it all on West Coast Port Backlogs.

If you take the data at face value (and we should), the situation at the ports is probably fully resolved. The chart below from the Port of Long Beach shows the number of vessels “at anchor” off the coast. We saw it move from a high of 28 ships in March to less than 3 […]

Rail Volumes Give us Insight into National Economic Weakness. $

On today’s theme of short and sweet, we noticed as we blew through the various economic reports that the AAR view of the rail sector was not looking as well as we would like to see it. Total Carloads have slipped negative for the year, falling .7% against volumes from last year. Total traffic, which […]

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