Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

July tonnage is up annually, reports ATA

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
August 20, 2013

Trucking volumes continue to remain largely flat, according to data released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) earlier today. 

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) truck tonnage in July fell 0.4 percent following a 0.1 percent gain in June, representing the first SA decrease since April. July’s SA reading was 125.4 (2000=100) compared to June’s 125.9, which ATA said is the highest in its history. On an annual basis, July’s SA is up 4.7 percent and stands as the lowest annual gain going back to April. And on a year-to-date basis, the SA is also up 4.7 percent.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, increased 3 percent from 125.9 in June to 129.6 in July. 

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.

“After gaining a total of 2.2% in May and June, it isn’t surprising that tonnage slipped a little in July,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement. “The decrease corresponds with the small decline in manufacturing output during July reported by the Federal Reserve last week. Despite the small reprieve in July, we expect solid tonnage numbers during the second half of the year as sectors that generate heavy freight, like oil and gas and autos, continue with robust growth,” Costello said.

He added that home construction generates a significant amount of tonnage, but as mortgage rates and home prices rise, growth in housing starts will decelerate slightly in the second half of the year, but still be a positive for truck freight volumes. What’s more, he said tonnage gains in the second half of the year are likely to overstate the strength in the economy as these heavy freight sectors continue to outperform the economy overall.

That latter point rings especially true, given that retail sales remain sluggish, coupled with still relatively high unemployment and a cautious consumer outlook.

In the most recent edition of the Cass Freight Index, Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at the Delcan Corporation, noted that the economy is still showing signs of slow growth, with GDP growth for the second quarter estimated to be 1.7 percent, stronger than the first quarter revised growth rate of 1.1 percent.

“Future prospects from a freight point of view look largely the same as they did last
Month,” she wrote. “Volume is strong enough to make use of the equipment we have deployed, but not growing at a rate sufficient to cause stress in the system.”

Shippers and carriers have told LM in recent months that current trends remain intact in terms of volume and available capacity, with the general expectation being that it will remain the case barring a sudden shift in demand patterns or economic activity.

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

Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities recently voiced his endorsement of this trade legislation

While many auto executives expect more industry recalls in 2015 and 2016, just 8 percent use advanced predictive analytics to help prevent, prepare for, and manage recalls, according to a recent online poll from Deloitte.

Purolator white paper highlights common Canadian shipping mistakes. From failing to appreciate the complexity of the customs clearance process to not realizing that Canada recognizes both French and English as its official languages, U.S. businesses frequently misjudge the complexity of shipping to the Canadian market. This often results in mistakes - mistakes that can come with hefty penalties and border clearance delays, and that can result in lingering negative perceptions among Canadian consumers.

At a certain point, it seems like the ongoing truck driver shortage cannot get any worse, right? Well, think again, because of myriad reasons we could well be in the very early innings of a game that is, and continues, to be hard to watch. That was made clear in a report issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), entitled “Truck Driver Analysis 2015.”

Coming off of 2014, which in many ways is viewed as a banner year for freight, it appears that some tailwinds have firmly kicked in, as 2015 enters its official homestretch, according to Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics (SOL) Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Diego. The SOL report is sponsored by Penske Logistics.


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