Consumer confidence slumped in July by the most since August 2011 as Americans grew less upbeat about prospects for the economy, employment and their finances. The Conference Board's index retreated to 90.9 from June's 99.8 that was weaker than initially reported, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday.
Quotable"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of fool to the left.""
- King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
Ramp/Dock Report: August 2015
Class 1 railroads throughout North America have experienced slight gains in intermodal traffic the second quarter of 2015 but have experienced slowing earnings. This can be attributed to reduced fuel surcharges and a very soft coal market. The exception being CSX when it recently posted the all-time high second quarter earnings! BNSF announced it is lowering dwell times at many of its largest ramps. The dwell time is being reduced to 24 hours at Los Angeles; Phoenix; Portland; San Bernardino; Seattle; St. Louis and the three Chicago area ramps, Cicero, Corwith, and Willow Springs. Daily storage rates will be $150 per day after 24 hours.
Kuehne & Nagel recently announced the acquisition of Memphis based Re-Trans! The merger and acquisition market has heated up this year with XPO Logistics acquiring Norbert Dentressangle; FedEx's pending purchase of TNT Express, and the most recent purchase of Coyote Logistics by UPS Logistics!
On port news, the Port of New York and New Jersey container volume had a dramatic increase for the first half of 2015 by 13.4 %. Some attribute this to the uncertainty of the West Coast and a stronger local economy. Strange bedfellows occurred recently when port terminal operators and labor unions agreed to lobby for the removal of the "Port Transparency Act" from Senate bill 1298 (the highway transportation bill) as it was stripped from the bill! The bill was originally spearheaded by the National Retail Federation and over 100 other backers to try and get real data of labor and port congestion issues throughout the U.S.`
Lessons from the Past
While recently checking out 'Democracy in America' by Alexis de Tocqueville (circa 1835), I realized that many of the ideals we take for granted about our beloved country were noted by Tocqueville after his travels in America in 1831. He accurately foresaw both much of what ails us and our remarkable uniqueness and strengths. Tocqueville correctly thought that America, as a young republic, was the way of the future!
Here are some quotes taken from his works after visiting America in 1831"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
"I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run."
"The time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . They neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters."
"There are now two great nations in the world, which starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Americans... Each seems called by some secret design of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world."
Alexis de Tocqueville's amazing insight to the U.S. in 2015---180 years earlier!