Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


January truck tonnage takes a weather-influenced step back, reports ATA

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 19, 2014

Difficult winter weather conditions played a significant role in January truck tonnage, according to data released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) today.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) truck tonnage in January dropped 4.3 percent, following a 0.8 percent drop in December. The index was at 124.4 (2000=100), and the all-time high was November’s 131.0, which was 2.7 percent better than December. On an annual basis, the January SA was up 1.2 percent.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment was 122.3 in January, down 0.3 percent from December’s 122.7 and was down .01 percent annually.

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.

“Like most economic indicators, truck tonnage was negatively impacted by bad winter weather in January,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement. “The thing about truck freight is that it’s difficult to catch up. Drivers are governed by hours-of-service regulations and trucks are limited to trailer lengths and total weights, thus it is nearly impossible to recoup the days lost due to bad storms. January wasn’t just one storm, it was several across a large part of the country. Therefore, I wouldn’t panic from the largest monthly drop in two years. I’ve heard from many fleets that freight was good, in-between storms. The fundamentals for truck freight still look good.”

Weather aside, many shippers and carriers indicate that things are moving along as expected when viewing the market on a seasonal basis.

But they concede that such atypical weather patterns are making an imprint on supply chain operations, with far more contingency and capacity planning being required than normal.

Morgan Stanley analyst Bill Greene said in a research note that the underperformance in the NSA index reflects a tough sequential comp and severe weather conditions, adding that truckload carriers suggest underlying freight fundamentals remain solid.

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 Nicaragua Canal will be three times the length of the Panama Canal, crossing the major Lago de Nicaragua, one of the largest freshwater reservoirs in the region.

FTR and Internet Truckstop said that this alliance will provide shippers and carriers with myriad benefits, including market analysis and specificity for contract and spot freight segments by region and trailer type.

Commerce reported that August retail sales at $444.4 billion were up 0.6 percent compared to July and up 5.0 percent compared to August 2013, and the NRF said that August retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, were up 0.5 percent compared to July and up 2.7 percent on an annual unadjusted basis.

Carload volumes were up 2.7 percent at 286,002, and intermodal volume was up 4.5 percent at 239,142 trailers and containers.

Non asset-based 3PL XPO Logistics said this week that three global blue chip institutions––PSP Investments, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund called GIC, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan–– have invested a cumulative $700 million into XPO, which company officials said will be used to accelerate its growth strategy and allocated mainly for unspecified acquisitions.

Article Topics

News · Trucking · ATA · All topics

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA