The American Trucking Associations (ATA) for-hire truck tonnage index jumped 2.3% in November, which follows a revised 3.9% gain October. Year-to-date, compared with the same eleven months in 2016, the trade said its index is up 3.5%.
“The freight market is really strong,” said noted Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, in a statement.
“The solid truck tonnage figures over the last four months suggest to me that this holiday spending season might be better than many expected, and the best in several years,” he added. “The strength in tonnage also shows that other parts of the economy are doing well, too, including business investment, factory output, and even construction.”
That view regarding the “surge” in holiday freight dovetails with the perspective shared by Lee Spratt, CEO of DHL e-commerce for the Americas, earlier this month in New York City.
DHL expects that pickup and delivery volumes will be up 26% this year versus the 2016 last holiday season, with U.S. online retail sales are set to grow 16% this year to $462 billion.