July truck tonnage sees decent gains, reports ATA

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 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.

By ·

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, 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. Contact Jeff Berman

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!

Article Topics

ATA · Truck Tonnage · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Image-based Scanning for Inbound & Outbound Logistics
In an era where making the "business case" for technology investments isn’t always easy, image-based barcode scanning stands on its own when it comes to ROI.
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....