Joining me on PowerTalk today is Chris Burruss, president of the Truckload Carriers Association, and we talk about the trucking industry, what it’s responsible for and what key issues are facing the industry.
When most people talk about the economy, we tend to think of manufacturing, retail, restaurants and other industries that require goods, such as finished products or key parts and assemblies.
We all know we need these, but how often do you think about how products and parts get where they need to be?
No deliveries means there is nothing to sell and nothing to buy. How does our economy work in that environment?
Even before I started my investment newsletter, PowerTrend Profits, after nearly 20 years of keeping tabs on the U.S. economy as an equity research analyst on Wall Street, I kept an eye on transport activity — trucks, rails and intermodal activity. For those not familiar with intermodal, it’s when something is shipped by truck to rail or rail to truck.
Think about it: if goods are not getting shipped to and fro, it means factories are not producing and demand from the consumer or business is weak. That means trucking is a key barometer of the domestic economy. While that situation was true decades ago, it is even truer today, given the shift toward just-in-time manufacturing.
Simply put, if trucks are not rolling, the economy is not moving. That’s something to think about every time you drive down I-95, I-40, I-70, I-80, the I-5 or another interstate highway. If you don’t see many trucks, don’t be shocked if the economy isn’t that strong.
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