March 26, 2023
Spaceknow’s Truck Stop dataset provides insights into the economic activity and logistics lines of the Russian army in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, as well as the impact of Western sanctions on different regions, highlighting the importance of understanding economic nuances in a complex geopolitical environment.
In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Spaceknow’s Truck Stop dataset has emerged as a powerful tool for monitoring economic activity, even identifying logistics lines of the Russian army. These indices monitor the number of trucks and cars in the parking areas that provide refueling, rest, and often restaurant services to truck drivers. As the index reveals, truck stop activity in the Southern Federal district of Russia has experienced a significant surge since the end of October, pointing to the region’s central role in the conflict. Through its unique insights, the index offers a fascinating window into the complex geopolitical environment of modern-day Russia.
SpaceKnow’s Truck stop dataset is primarily built to monitor economic activity – with higher number of trucks implying more goods being transported to customers or factories, but it also often captures extraordinary events such as various congestions and together with our container indices, can indicate supply chain issues. As the analysis below shows, in extreme cases, it can even tell us about the ongoing war effort.
Figure 1 above shows our Truck Stop index for the Southern Federal district of Russia, and we can see a very significant rise in truck stop activity starting in November 2022. Additionally, Figure 1 indicates that this increase is notable even when compared to the same period in the previous year. We believe the reason we see this behavior is because of the region’s key position in the Russian war against Ukraine. The region is centered in Rostov-on-Don and borders Ukraine, including Donetsk and Luhansk, two key occupied regions where even now the hardest fighting is taking place. Moreover, it is this region where annexed Ukrainian territories, including Crimea were incorporated. Therefore, we believe that the index primarily shows logistic lines of the Russian army leading to the front in eastern Ukraine.
To show that the Southern regions behave differently from the rest of Russia, we can compare the Southern region with the overall development of the truck stop index in Russia. The indices are normalized for comparison. Figure 2 shows that since autumn 2022 the southern district is experiencing a change in behavior that is much stronger than anything we see in Russia. We can also see that both indices were strongly correlated until very recently.
To distinguish between war efforts and the ongoing migration of Russians trying to escape conscription and persecution, we look at the Volga region. This region borders Kazakhstan, a sought-after destination for Russian migrants last year.
Figure 3 shows that truck stops in the Volga region do not show an increase in any way similar to the one seen in the Southern district, further suggesting that the behavior in Figure 1 is war related. The reason why the truck stop index is rising in the Volga region can be also connected with the Russian attempts to circumvent western sanctions through Kazakhstan leading to rising truckloads brought to and from Kazakhstan and softening Russia’s shrinking economy.
It is hard to decompose the overall impact of sanctions in terms of changes in foreign trade and the macroeconomic environment, but we can effectively show regions without any direct military logistics. The Volga district analysis showed us the probable impact of levied sanctions by the West. The Northwest federal region which includes Saint-Petersburg can show us the opposite side of those sanctions. This region is the only one that directly borders the EU (including Finland and the Baltics).
Figure 4 above shows a comparison of the index between 2021 and 2022, unlike in Volga district, the index values are lower compared to the last year (and 2019) for the last two quarters, almost entirely missing the December peak.
From the economic point of view, our indices show the impact of Western sanctions are varied and depend on the region’s neighbors. We have also seen that the areas near the front line are significantly affected by the war, as seen in the increased activity shown in Figure 1.
In conclusion, Spaceknow’s Truck Stop dataset is a valuable tool for monitoring economic activity and identifying extraordinary events in Russia. The index has provided insights into the logistics lines of the Russian army leading to the front in eastern Ukraine, as well as the impact of Western sanctions on different regions. The analysis shows that the areas near the front line are significantly affected by the war, as seen in the increased truck stop activity in the Southern Federal district. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the nuances of economic activity and supply chain issues in a complex geopolitical environment.
SpaceKnow’s Russia dataset package also includes airport and cement refinery indices, in addition to the truck stop index. For clients interested in the US market, SpaceKnow offers a state-specific Truck Stop Index as part of its US Supply Chain dataset package. If your organization values near-real-time, satellite activity-based data, consider subscribing to our indices today, or reach out to our sales team to learn more about our datasets.
Thank you for reading, did you find value in this article? Share it with a friend or colleague.
Each client is assigned an account representative who will reach out periodically to make sure that the data packages are meeting your needs. Here are some other ways to contact SpaceKnow in case you have a specific question.
For delivery questions and issues:
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
For data questions:
Please reach out to email@example.com
For pricing/sales support:
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
This report is provided by SpaceKnow, Inc. (“SpaceKnow”) pursuant to the following terms and conditions:
Industry data and reports published by SpaceKnow (“SpaceKnow Reports”) and made available to paid subscribers and/or other recipients (collectively “Recipients”) are creative works of the mind achieved through algorithmic analysis of publicly available data and the information therein is proprietary to SpaceKnow and protected by copyright. Any copying, distribution or reproduction without the prior permission of SpaceKnow is strictly prohibited.
SpaceKnow Reports are confidential and nothing therein may be disclosed, reproduced, transmitted, distributed, sold, licensed, or altered, in whole or in part, without SpaceKnow’s prior written consent. SpaceKnow reserves the right to release to the public at any time the data and reports provided to Recipients. No rights in SpaceKnow Reports or any of the information contained therein are transferred to Recipients. Any misappropriation or misuse of the information in SpaceKnow Reports will cause serious damage to SpaceKnow and money damages may not constitute sufficient compensation to SpaceKnow; consequently, Recipients agree that in the event of any misappropriation or misuse, SpaceKnow shall have the right to obtain injunctive relief in addition to any other legal or financial remedies to which SpaceKnow may be entitled.
SpaceKnow Reports are based only upon its algorithmic analysis of publicly available data and do not use or rely upon any material non-public information (“MNPI”). The insights included in SpaceKnow Reports do not constitute MNPI or inside information and SpaceKnow is not an insider. SpaceKnow Reports (1) may contain opinions based on third party sources that are not independently verified for accuracy or completeness, (2) may contain forward- looking statements, which are identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” or “estimates,” and similar expressions, and (3) are current as of the date of publication but may contain information or statements that are subject to change without notice. SpaceKnow has no obligation to, and will not, update any information contained in SpaceKnow Reports. Actual outcomes could differ materially from those anticipated in SpaceKnow Reports. As a result, the use of SpaceKnow Reports is at Recipients’ own risk.
SpaceKnow and its owners, affiliates and representatives are not (1) investment advisers, commodity trading advisers, broker-dealers, financial analysts, financial planners, or banks, (2) compensated for providing investment advice, (3) registered or licensed with any regulatory body in any jurisdiction as investment advisers, commodity trading advisers, financial planners, broker-dealers, or in any other capacity (including, without limitation, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), the U.S. Financial Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), or their equivalents in non- U.S. jurisdictions), and do not recommend the sale or purchase of securities or commodity interests, or (4) licensed or able to provide investment advice or respond to individual requests for recommendations to purchase or sell any securities or commodity interests. No regulatory body in any jurisdiction (including the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, or a regulatory body of any state or any non-U.S. jurisdiction) has endorsed SpaceKnow or the contents of SpaceKnow Reports or the accuracy, adequacy, safety, reliability, usefulness, quality or legitimacy of any information provided to subscribers in SpaceKnowReports. SpaceKnow Reports are not intended to constitute investment advice. SpaceKnow is not an investment adviser within the meaning of Section 202(a)(11) of the U.S. Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is not a commodity trading adviser within the meaning of Section 1(a)(12) of the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. SpaceKnow does not provide investment advisory, portfolio management or financial planning services. The analyses, forecasts, metrics, samples, estimated figures, trends, figures, tables, graphs, projections and other forms of data that may be contained in SpaceKnow Reports do not represent or contain any recommendations to buy or sell any security or any financial products and should not be relied upon as the basis for any transactions in securities.
SpaceKnow Reports are for informational, promotional, educational or evaluation purposes only. Any information contained in SpaceKnow Reports constitutes the opinion or forward-looking statement of individuals and is provided without any representation or warranty of any kind. Neither SpaceKnow nor its directors, officers, employees, agents or representatives shall have any responsibility to you or any third party for the accuracy or completeness of any information provided in any SpaceKnow Report.
Should you have any questions, please contact us at SKNowcastingSolutions@spaceknow.com.