Top 10 logistics indexes for supply chain professionals 

Stay aware of global data to strengthen your supply chain. 

The US government, the World Bank, and other supply chain specialists provide indexes that help us understand economic indicators and trends in the industry that can have a huge impact on organizations. Understanding big-picture issues like the availability of raw materials, container vessel dwell times, shipment pricing, and infrastructure helps us predict potential supply chain breakdowns, make global sourcing decisions, avoid manufacturing disruptions, forecast accurately, and identify new opportunities.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most useful transportation and logistics indexes available. Add these to your list to help you stay aware of global data and trends as they relate to your own organization’s cycles and activity.  

Motor freight 

1. Transportation Services Index (TSI) and Seasonally-Adjusted Transportation Data
The TSI, created by the US Department of Transportation measures the movement of freight and passengers. The index, which is seasonally adjusted, combines available data on freight traffic, as well as passenger travel, that have been weighted to yield a monthly measure of transportation services output.

2. Cass Freight Index
This monthly data on North American freight volumes provides valuable insight into freight trends as they relate to other economic and supply chain indicators and the overall economy. The diversity of shippers and aggregate volume provide a statistically valid representation of North American shipping activity. 

three 18-wheeler trucks driving

3. Cass Truckload Linehaul Index
The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index, an accurate indicator of the latest developments in per-mile truckload pricing, measures market fluctuations in per-mile truckload linehaul rates in North America, independent of additional cost components, such as fuel and accessorials. 

4. World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI)
The LPI is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance. The LPI offers two different perspectives, international and domestic, and consists of both qualitative and quantitative measures across 160 countries to help build profiles of logistics friendliness for these countries. It measures performance along the logistics supply chain within a country using six indicators—border control, infrastructure, competitively priced shipments, tracking and tracing, timeliness, and quality of logistics services—all based on feedback from logistics professionals on the ground in each country.  

Ocean freight 

5. Container Port Activity Dashboard
This interactive dashboard provided by the US Bureau of Transportation tracks 20-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) handled by select US container ports. It’s updated monthly and includes the option to select specific ports for more detail.  
6. Port Profiles 
The US Bureau of Transportation also maintains Port Profiles that provide interactive capacity and throughput data for the nation’s largest container, tonnage, and dry bulk ports. The interactive map allows you to see information for each major port, including updates, top commodities, and average container vessel dwell times. 
7. World Container Index
This weekly index created by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors provides useful benchmarks by date and trade route, spot freight rates, and a detailed assessment to help you track market development. 
8. Xeneta Shipping Index by Compass (XSI® - C)
Delivering an in-depth and accurate representation of the container freight market, this index provides ocean container rates based on data collected from shippers and freight forwarders. Rates are updated daily with a two-day lag. XSI® - C is EU BMR compliant and reports daily ocean container rates for a 40-foot container (FEU). 

A cargo ship

Air and train freight 

9. IATA Air Freight Monthly Analysis 
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents 290 airlines, or 83% of total air traffic. IATA provides a monthly analysis of trends in the global air cargo market, including global cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) volumes, air cargo traffic by country, and other supply chain issues as they relate to air cargo. 

10. Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Traffic Data 
Since demand for rail service rises in response to demand elsewhere in the economy for the products that railroads haul, rail traffic is a useful gauge of broader economic activity, both for specific industries and for the economy as a whole. Weekly and monthly rail traffic data are available for purchase, or with an AAR membership. 

Are you thinking outsourcing a portion of your supply chain or implementing new sourcing or logistics strategies? Use our checklist to understand if outsourcing is right for your organization.  

A railroad
a graphic reading supply chain terms

About NMG 

NMG has more than 85 years of experience partnering with organizations to bring their industrial, IoT, lighting, medical, telecommunications, consumer, and aerospace products to life. We solve your most complex challenges in engineering design, manufacturing, and supply chain management.  

Follow NMG 

Could your company use results like this?

We want to learn about your organization and understand your unique challenges.

Get in Touch!

We can't wait to create winning solutions with you. Please provide your information and we'll be in touch shortly.

or call 1-323-663-3971

Current customers or vendors/suppliers,
please click here for additional contact options.