November truck tonnage reflects “clear deceleration”

November truck tonnage reflects “clear deceleration”

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.9% in November 2015 after an increase of 1.8% during October. The October figure was revised down from the November 24 figure. In November, the index equaled 134.3 (2000=100), down from 135.5 in October, and 1.1% below the all-time high of 135.8 reached in January 2015.

Compared with November 2014, the SA index climbed 0.2%, which was the smallest year-over-year gain since February 2013. Year-to-date through November, compared with the same period in 2014, tonnage was up 2.7%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 129.0 in November, which was 7.6% below the previous month (139.6).

“Tonnage gave back half of the gain in October, highlighting weakness in factory output and new fracking activity, as well as a glut of inventories throughout the supply chain,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “With year-over-year gains averaging just 1.2% over the last three months, there has been a clear deceleration in truck tonnage.

“Looking ahead, I remain concerned about the high level of inventories throughout the supply chain,” he said. “We recently learned that inventories throughout the supply chain and relative to sales rose in October. This will have a negative impact on truck freight volumes over the next few months.”

Costello also provided a glimpse of what 2016 might have to offer trucking in this video.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy, representing 68.8% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled just under 10 billion tons of freight in 2014. Motor carriers collected $700.4 billion, or 80.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

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