Job losses hit transport sector in March

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 105 views 

Transport Topics reports a loss of 6,900 trucking industry jobs during March, despite adding 5,700 jobs in February.

Trucking remains a somewhat volatile industry fiercely dependent on retail orders, manufacturing, housing and industrial production to create shipping demand.

As more carriers diversify their models to include intermodal freight, the trucking and rail sectors become intertwined.

U.S. rail intermodal traffic fell 3.8% last week but posted the highest volume for the month of March on record, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Traffic for the week ended Saturday (March 30) fell to 233,587 trailers and containers.

March intermodal traffic rose 0.5% to 933,208 units over the same month last year.

While a relatively small comparative increase, the gain “was the highest-volume March in history and built on even stronger gains earlier in the quarter,” AAR senior vice president John Gray said.

During the first quarter of this year intermodal traffic rose 5.3% from the same period a year ago. Railroad carloads slid 0.5% to 1.1 million for the month of March.

Trucking companies will begin reporting first quarter earnings this week. Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport — one of the leaders in intermodal business — reports on Thursday (April 11).