In my area I do notice that Aldi and Dollar General (low-end bargain retailers), as well as CVS and Walgreens (big pharmacy chains that can bill insurance) are on a store building binge. Don’t know that this is a smart idea, but they’re doing it.
The next door neighbor at my farm is a Railroad Engineer. He works in the yard over in Chattanooga. I think he works for CSX. When I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago I asked him how his job was going because another neighbor had recently gotten laid off after 20 years working at a foundry over in Chattanooga. This guy said he’d not seen things this slow at anytime in the 17 years he’s worked for the railroad. He and several others that work in the yard are very concerned that they are about to be laid off, too.
I used to watch the daily “package count” at FedEx as aan indicator since it was reported within hours. Unfortunately, they stopped daily reporting around 1990
As I mentioned a couple of months ago the truckload freight has picked up, and the Nationwide carrier my wife works CSR for is scrambling to keep up with the demands.
Obama, and his wrecking crew have done everything wrong to right this economy as I see it, so I’m confused.
The only thing that makes sense to me is that FREE market forces are substantially more powerful than the Obama wrecking crew.
I am a railfan (one of those strange people that you see taking pictures of trains). I live a few miles from two CSX main lines in middle GA.
One line, which links Atlanta with Birmingham, Mobile and New Orleans is down to 8-9 trains every 24 hours versus a peak of 24 trains back in '08.
The other line, Atlanta-Waycross-Jacksonville and all points in Florida, is also down precipitously from it's peak volume in '07-'08.
I am not seeing loaded cars of building materials that would indicate that any kind of sustained recovery is underway.
The solid trains of 89 foot automobile carriers are not running as frequently.
I see many container trains running with only one container per well car as opposed to doublestacked.
Finally, substantial numbers of CSX-owned locomotives remain in storage at Waycross as well as other locomotive shops system-wide. In '08 there were large numbers of leased locomotives being used as CSX's own fleet was unable to cover all trains being run.
Neighbor is a owner-operatot. He has been running his truck for over 20 years.
Up untiol March, he was pulling a load a week of potatoes from N Nevada to So Calif.
Now, all the calls he gets for hauling won’t even pay for his fuel.
The tonnage might be getting hauled, but who is losing money on the deal?
He cannot run his truck at a loss. Are these loads only going to large companies who are willing to post losses for now?
Shipping statistics represent past manufacturing and future consumption. They’re interesting — but I don’t know how predictive they are.