Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Truck Tonnage Index Indicates U.S. Economy Got a Lift in May

Seasonally adjusted, up 2.3% month on month, 6.7% year on year
By raw numbers up 5.4% month on month. ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 2.3% in May
Some of the increase is attributable to factory output rising in May for the first time since February (+0.2%) and retail sales performing stronger than expected in May (+0.6%). Costello added, "The 6.8% surge in new housing starts during May obviously pushed tonnage up as home construction generates a significant amount of truck tonnage."

. . .

He added that tonnage continues to outpace the number of loads hauled as heavy freight (e.g., housing construction materials and sand and water for hydraulic fracturing) is outperforming box trailer (i.e., dry van) freight.
And some background:
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 67% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.2 billion tons of freight in 2011. Motor carriers collected $603.9 billion, or 80.9% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

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