Trans4Cast – Another Strong Showing for Manufacturers

By | November 10, 2017

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the September full report on manufacturers shipments, inventories and orders which is a reliable barometer on the health of the economy reporting the month to month change in new orders for manufactured goods.

Strong Demand

Overall, September orders came in at an increase of $6.5 billion, or 1.4%, to $478.5 billion. After some uncertainty through the summer months of 2017, we’ve seen growth in three of the last four months including 1.2% growth in August which was followed up with the September gain.

Manufactured Durable Goods

New Orders

New orders for manufactured durable goods in September, up three of the last four months, increased $4.7 billion or 2.0 percent to $238.4 billion. The new orders category was buoyed by a strong month in the transportation equipment segment, also showing growth in three of the last four months, with a 4.7% increase to $80.9 billion.

Durable Shipments

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in September, up four of the last five months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.9 percent to $240.3 billion, down from the previously published 1.0 percent increase. This followed a 0.7 percent August increase. Transportation equipment also drove the momentum in the shipments category with an increase of $0.8 billion or 1.1 percent to $79.5 billion.

Unfilled Orders

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in September, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $2.7 billion (0.2%) to $1,135.0 billion.


Inventories of manufactured durable goods in September, up fourteen of the last fifteen months, increased $2.6 billion or 0.6 percent to $403.9 billion. Transportation equipment led the surge with an increase of $1.0 billion to $131.0 billion.


In summary, all of the strength shown in the report would indicate that we in the trucking industry are in for a strong fourth quarter of transporting all of these newly created goods and materials.



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About Jonathan Starks

Jonathan has spent his entire career in the freight transportation sector having joined FTR in 2001. His expertise includes freight modeling, modal analysis, fleet characteristics, and equipment demand. He is directly responsible for producing FTR's more than 13 million datapoints and 85,000 forecasted dataseries each and every month.