Truck tonnage bounces back in October, reports ATA

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported today in its Truck Tonnage Index that October trucking volumes saw decent momentum, coming off of September declines.

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The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported today in its Truck Tonnage Index that October trucking volumes saw decent momentum, coming off of September declines.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage at 147.6 (2000=100) was up 3.3% from September to October, on the heels of a 1.9% decline from August to September.  And compared to October 2016, SA tonnage jumped up 9.9% annually for the single largest annual increase going back to December 2013, topping September’s 6.6% annual spread. Through the first ten months of 2017, SA tonnage is up 3.1%.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment and the metric ATA says fleets should benchmark their levels with, increased 5.1% from September to October at 151 and was up 8.5% annually.

“Continued improvement in truck tonnage reflects a much stronger freight market,” said 

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement. “This strength is the result of several factors, including consumption, factory output, construction and improved inventory levels throughout the supply chain. Additionally, the 6.7% rise in tonnage over the last four months suggests to me that retailers are expecting a good holiday spending season.”

Earlier this year, Costello said it was reasonable to expect moderate growth moving forward as key sectors of the economy continue to improve slowly.

Some of these key sectors, which have been previously outlined by Costello, include things like lower inventory levels, better manufacturing activity, solid housing starts, good consumer spending, as well as an increase in the oil rig count – all of which are drivers of freight volumes.

Commentary at recent industry conferences and trade shows has pointed toward fairly decent market conditions over all, with retail spending numbers showing promise, coupled with signs of a decent peak season, and tight capacity, too. 


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

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