Beige Book finds mixed transportation demand

March 6, 2013


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Economic activity generally expanded at “a modest to moderate pace” over the past couple of months, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, which analyzes reports from each of the Fed’s 12 regional districts. The current Beige Book, published eight times each year, is based on information collected on or before Feb. 22.

Transportation services activity was mixed, but expectations for future transportation activity were generally positive in most districts, according to the latest Beige Book. “Shipping volume in the Cleveland District met or exceeded expectations, with increases driven by the energy sector, rerouting of container traffic, and residual effects from Hurricane Sandy.” The Atlanta District also reported increased transportation activity while the Kansas City District’s transportation services activity was flat compared to the previous survey period. The Dallas District reported weakened transportation demand — especially in intermodal cargo, air cargo and coal shipments — but noted that petroleum and petroleum-product shipments increased during the survey period.

“Trucking firms in the Cleveland and Kansas City Districts had trouble finding experienced drivers, and a Cleveland contact said there may be a driver shortage in the summer,” the Beige Book stated.

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