Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


ATA reports seasonally-adjusted tonnage is down 2.3 percent in May

This decline continues a trend of uneven freight transportation volumes amid various economic indicators showing signs that the economic recovery has lost its footing in recent weeks especially
By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
June 27, 2011

Following a revised 0.6 percent decline for its advance seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage in April, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported today that the same index dropped 2.3 percent in May.

This decline continues a trend of uneven freight transportation volumes amid various economic indicators showing signs that the economic recovery has lost its footing in recent weeks especially.

Along with May’s 2.3 percent and April’s 0.6 percent SA declines, the SA was up 1.9 percent in March, down 2.7 percent in February, and up 3.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, in January and December.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, hit 115.9 in May, topping April by 2 percentage points. Both months were down compared to March’s 123.3, and on an annual basis, the SA was down 7.6 percent from May 2010.

Some industry analysts maintain that the not seasonally-adjusted index is more useful, because it is comprised of what truckers haul. As defined by the ATA, the not seasonally-adjusted index is assembled by adding up all the monthly tonnage data reported by the survey respondents (ATA member carriers) for the latest two months. Then a monthly percent change is calculated and then applied to the index number for the first month.

“Truck tonnage over the last four months shows that the economy definitely hit a soft patch this spring,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement. “With our index falling in three of the last four months totaling 3.7 percent, it is clear why there is some renewed anxiety over the economic recovery. With oil prices falling and some of the Japan-related auto supply problems ending, I believe this was a soft patch and not a slide back into recession, and we should see better, but not great, economic activity in the months ahead.”

At last week’s eyefortransport 3PL Summit in Atlanta, similar sentiment made by shippers and carriers was closely in line with Costello’s, with many attendees telling LM that while things are decent, a good amount of the momentum occurring in the market earlier in the year has definitely lessened.

Both shippers and carriers noted that the second half of the year, coupled with how Peak Season shapes up, will go a long way in determining how things shake out in the trucking market.

Robert W. Baird and Co. analyst Jon Langenfeld wrote in a research note that the domestic demand environment remains consistent with a slow-growth economy, adding that industry contacts indicate a seasonal pickup in freight demand into June.

Langenfeld added that the supply/demand balance continues to favor carriers and support rate growth, though the likelihood for pricing to exceed expectations remain muted.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth, fell 1.4 percent to 51.5 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth), declining for the fifth straight month since reaching 57.9 in October 2014. And it is 4 percent below the 12-month average of 55.5. The March PMI is at its lowest level since May 2013’s 50.1.

How the food giants integrate supply chain operations is one of the most interesting components of the recently-announced merger between H.J. Heinz Co. and The Kraft Foods Group.

The new online offering is entitled “Vessels at a Glance” and is comprised of a daily update that shows all vessels at berth and anchor within POLB, as well as the Port of Los Angeles (POLA). It also includes information relating to vessel arrival and departure dates and length of stay in Long Beach, too, along with weekly updated charts that show the number of vessels at anchor at POLB and POLA that POLB officials said illustrate trends occurring over the last six months.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in January dropped 1.2 percent to $89.3 billion.

Download our new white paper, "The ABCs of HST: Understanding the Harmonized System of Tariffs," for insights and explanations of the complex cross-border classification codes.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA