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ATA: U.S. Truck Tonnage Mixed, Previews 2016

Posted: December 23, 2015

ARLINGTON, VA – A measure of trucking freight activity fell last month in the U.S., but remains not far from a record high level hit early this year, accordign to one fleet group who also offered a preview into conditions for the New Year.

The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.9 percent in November to 134.3 from the month before, following an increase of 1.8 percent during October, which was revised downward from a first reported 1.9 percent gain.

This latest index reading is just 1.1 percent below the all-time high of 135.8 reached in January 2015.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its fleet membership 

Compared with November 2014, the index increased 0.2 percent, the smallest year-over-year gain since February 2013.

Year-to-date through November, tonnage is up 2.7 percent compared to the first 11 months of 2014.

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 percent below the previous month when it stood 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 ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “With year-over-year gains averaging just 1.2 percent 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 the video below.

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