Armada Intelligence
Category archives for: Supply Chain

Just to Show How Tough Our Job Is.

We just wanted to give you a little taste of just how tough our job is (yeah, this is a Friday pity party). So, we watch data from all types of sources and try to use that to triangulate on reality – or what’s really happening. Here’s a tricky one for you: We have shown […]

Is the Morgan Stanley Freight Index Sending us a Really Bad Signal? $

We have followed the Morgan Stanley Truckload Freight Index for years, and have found it to be a nice predictor of generalized activity in the transportation sector. One of the things that we still adhere to is the notion that the national supply chain usually moves before the national economy shows signs of activity. So, […]

Rail Volume Update. $

It’s been a long while since we shared the rail carload volume update from the Association of American Railroads with you. It is one of our favorite barometers of economic activity and studies have shown as much as an 82% correlation between certain commodity classes and GDP.

Sometimes You have to Toot Your Own Horn. $

This was sent to us from a great friend at TranSystems – just pointing out that others are now starting to tell the inventory story that we have been so focused on since Q1. Here’s the quote:

July Takes a Turn Downward in Transportation Demand. $


The TranSystems Transportation Activity Index report for July was released this week, and we saw month-over-month and year-over-year weakness across every component tracked. All but one of the modes of transportation was still in “contraction” territory based on this index (anything below 50 is contracting).  This index measures demand for transportation services and it takes […]

Driver Shortage Update.

There is an elusive figure that we search for constantly. The driver shortage figures are a significant factor in supply chain operating costs (specifically on transportation costs) for many product moving companies. We know that the American Trucking Association currently estimates shortages at about 40,000.  But, when we look at certain types of pricing data, […]

Retail May Give us a Peak Shipping Season After All. $

There are a lot of transportation companies that are concerned about whether there will be a peak shipping season. We got some proof in the inventory data mentioned earlier that specifically give us just a little bit of hope – depending on how you interpret the data.

What You Need to Know: Panama Canal Drought Impact. $

At first we didn’t think this was a big deal, but it just became real for us. As you might know, El Nino has dropped water levels in the Panama Canal significantly enough that the canal operator is being forced to limit the size of ship that will be allowed to transit the waterway. Just […]

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%). […]

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