Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

July truck tonnage sees decent gains, reports ATA

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
August 19, 2014

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported today that truck tonnage in July saw decent gains.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The index came in at 130.2 (2000=100) compared to June’s 128.6 and May’s 129.6 and is off 0.6 percent from the November 2013 high of 131.0, reported the ATA. On an annual basis, the SA is up 3.6 percent, topping the 2.3 percent annual bump in June, and stands as the biggest annual gain in the last three months. Year-to-date, the SA index is up 2.9 percent compared to the first seven months of 2013.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 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.

“After a surprising decrease in June, tonnage really snapped back in July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement. “This gain fits more with the anecdotal reports we are hearing from motor carriers that freight volumes are good. The solid tonnage number in July fits with the strong factory output reading and a jump in housing starts for the same month. I continue to expect moderate, but good, tonnage growth for the rest of the year.”

Tonnage is up 4.9 percent after a recent low point this past January.

Industry analysts noted during second quarter earnings that overall market conditions continue to bode well for carriers, with what BB&T Capital Markets analyst Thom Albrecht recently described as “a favorable freight volume and rate environment.”

Conversely, carriers continue to deal with tight capacity and higher rates, especially on the spot market, which is benefitting from the capacity environment, as well as the driver shortage.

The ATA’s Costello said in a recent ATA video interview that he believes the economy is picking up steam, even though the U.S. GDP was only up 1.0 percent in the first quarter. But he said the second quarter GDP could come in closer to 3.5 percent (the first advance estimate was 4.0 percent) and be around 3 percent over the second half of the year. That bounce could help freight volumes in the form of tonnage or more loads.

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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in October at 135.7 (2000=100) was up 1.9 percent compared to September’s 133.1, and the ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment was 139.8 in October, which was 0.9 percent ahead of September.

The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline fell 3.7 cents to $2.445 per gallon, according to data issued today by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). This marks the lowest weekly price for diesel since June 1, 2009, when it was at $2.352 per gallon.

In its report, entitled “Grey is the new Black,” JLL takes a close look at supply chain-related trends that can influence retailers’ approaches to Black Friday.

This year, it's all about the digital supply network. In this virtual conference, we will define the challenges currently facing supply chain organizations and offer solutions designed to transform linear operations into dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, visibility, and the ability to respond and optimize processes at any given time.

In his opening comments assessing the economy at last week’s RailTrends conference hosted by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent railroad analyst Tony Hatch, FTR Senior analyst Larry Gross said the economy continues to slog ahead at a relatively tepid pace, coupled with some volatility in terms of overall GDP growth. And amid that slogging, Gross said there is currently an economic hand-off occurring between the industrial sector and the consumer sector.

Article Topics

News · ATA · Truck Tonnage · All topics


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