New Index of Top Rated Global Transport Companies

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Includes: AAWW, ALGT, BNI, CHRW, CSX, HA, HMC, HOG, IYT, JBLU, LUV, MRTN, NAT, NSC, PII, SEA, SPAAF.PQ, UNP, VLKAY, WERN
by: Mike Havrilla

The accompanying table (click to enlarge) includes the top 50 rated companies and statistics for the ETF Innovators (ETFI) Global Transportation PerformIdex, which is structured as an equally-weighted index with quarterly updates from a database of 225 companies included in the five indexes below to provide broader investment exposure compared to existing ETFs such as iShares Dow Transports (NYSEARCA:IYT) and PowerShares Global Progressive Transport (PTRP).

1.) ETFI Global Air Transport

2.) ETFI Global Personal Transport

3.) ETFI Global Maritime Transport

4.) ETFI Global Railroad Industry

5.) ETFI Global Trucking & Logistics

The index is structured to include 15 companies each from railroads + trucking & logistics, 10 companies from air transport, and five companies each from maritime + personal transport. The trucking & logistics group has posted strong results over the past year in spite of the weak global economy and has been aided by declining fuel prices, including gains of about 50% for Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) and nearly 10% each for Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide (NASDAQ:CHRW).

The Personal Transport Index includes auto makers such as Honda (NYSE:HMC), motorcycle makers such as Harley Davidson (NYSE:HOG), recreational vehicles such as Polaris (NYSE:PII) – although the top five rated companies are auto makers at this time, led by Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY).

Within the Maritime Transport Index, the only bright spot has been Nordic American Tanker (NYSE:NAT), which is the only company whose stock price has increased in the last year as the entire group has been decimated – with the new Claymore/Delta Global Shipping ETF (NYSEARCA:SEA) down 55% since its inception in early September.

The Railroad Index has also posted strong results in the past year and it remains to be seen whether the major rail transport companies can maintain pricing power in the face of a global economic slowdown and less "stuff" to move around. Some of the top rated railroad companies in the index include Warren Buffett favorite Burlington Northern (BNI) along with the other major U.S. rail transport companies Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), CSX Corp (NYSE:CSX), and Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC).

The Air Transport Index includes mostly passenger airlines, in addition to helicopter transport and air freight companies such as Atlas Air Worldwide (NASDAQ:AAWW). The top 10 rated companies include top performers such as Hawaiian Airlines (NASDAQ:HA) and Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT), low fare airline JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), and the biggest companies in the industry such as Singapore Airlines (SPAAF.PQ) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV).