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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.9% in November



Contact:  ATA Office of Public Affairs

December 22, 2015

(703) 838-1873



ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.9% in November
Index Posts 0.2% Year-Over-Year Gain


Arlington, Va. — American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.9% in November, following an increase of 1.8% during October. The October figure was revised down from our press release on November 24. 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 increased 0.2%, which was the smallest year-over-year gain since February 2013. Year-to-date through November, compared with the same period last year, 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 ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “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. 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,” he said.


Costello also provided a glimpse of what 2016 might have to offer trucking in this video (https://youtu.be/hhHS7k9oO-o).


Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. 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.


ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.


The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward.