Americans want their stuff and they want it now. Demand for goods has driven up transportation companies’ profits. The improved business has driven transport stocks to new highs, as can be seen in the chart of the Young Research Moving the Goods Index below. The FT reports:
The Dow Jones Transportation Average, the world’s oldest benchmark that tracks some of America’s biggest transport and logistics companies, is outperforming major indices this year, underlining the strength of the US economic rebound.
The benchmark has been on a winning streak since the start of the year, rising just over 25 per cent so far, well ahead of the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Stoxx Europe 600 indices.
As the US economy reopens, activity has accelerated across the airline, trucking, railway and parcel delivery companies that make up the gauge. It closed at a record high earlier in May, 135 per cent above its 2020 pandemic low.
The increase has been driven by a flood of demand for a wide range of goods as businesses reopen and more Americans return to work. The surge has drained capacity and driven up prices, bolstering transport groups’ profitability.
“It’s a good time to be moving things around. There’s a lot of demand, but not a lot of supply,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group. “You have a year’s worth of pent-up demand. People want things and they want them now.”
Shares in the logistics companies UPS and FedEx have risen by 28 per cent and 21 per cent respectively since the start of the year, as consumers’ pivot to online shopping fuels a boom in residential package deliveries.
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