Cass partners helping enhance industry analysis

Freight payment services provider Cass Information Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CASS) announced new partnerships designed to enhance the reporting and data methodology of its Cass Transportation Indexes.

Cass has partnered with financial services firm Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) to author the new Cass Transportation Indexes Report. Cass stated that the report will be a new version of its current Cass Freight Index Report. The report aims to provide further context and analysis of the company’s three indexes – Cass Freight Index, Cass Truckload Linehaul Index and Cass Intermodal Price Index.

Cass Freight Index (Shipments) – SONAR: CFIS.USA
Cass Freight Index (Expenditures) – SONAR: CFIE.USA

“Stifel’s deep understanding of freight markets, consumer markets and U.S. economic drivers made them a logical partner for us,” said Mark Campbell, president of Cass’s Transportation Information Services division.

In working with Stifel, Cass adds the financial firm’s global transportation and logistics research arm headed by equity research analyst David Ross. Ross will author the new report, providing context and industry color to go along with the data.

“We have been tracking the Cass data for a long time, as it is a significant piece to understanding the freight puzzle in the U.S., and are pleased to be officially working with the company to provide our insights on the broader implications of their data,” said Ross.

In a Dec. 3 press release, Cass announced its new partnership with the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business to improve the methodology it uses to generate both the truckload (TL) and intermodal indexes. The goal is to improve accuracy of the data by “increasing the number of external correlation points.”

The press release stated that the historical figures will be restated when the new report is released, but noted that the correlation between old and new methodology is “extraordinarily high.”

“It’s in our DNA to partner with industry to advance the understanding and practice of supply chain management. This innovative partnership with Cass helps us do that,” said Global Supply Chain Institute’s executive director Shay Scott.

Established in 1995, the Cass Freight Index provides a monthly snapshot of freight volumes and expenditures in North America. The TL and intermodal indexes, established in 2011, provide a view of fluctuations in transportation costs for those modes. Both cost indexes are used by many shippers and supply chain managers throughout the transportation industry as an indicator for freight pricing.

The data for these indexes is derived from Cass’s $28 billion in annual freight invoice payment activity on behalf of some of the world’s biggest companies.

Cass reported that there are 8,000 subscribers to the report.

The first edition of the new format will be published in mid-December.