Refrigeratedtransporter 1664 Large Dollar Sign And Front Truck

ATA February Tonnage Index displays “some catch-up”

March 23, 2016
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 7.2% in February 2016 after a revised 0.3% reduction during January. In February, the index equaled 144 (2000=100), up from 134.3 in January.

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 7.2% in February 2016 after a revised 0.3% reduction during January. In February, the index equaled 144 (2000=100), up from 134.3 in January. February’s level is an all-time high.

Compared with February 2015, the SA index advanced 8.6%, which was up from January’s 1.1% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2015, tonnage rose 4.8%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 129 in February, which was 0.4% above the previous month (128.5).

“While it is nice to see a strong February, I caution everyone not read too much into it,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “The strength was mainly due to a weaker-than-average January, including bad winter storms, thus there was some catch-up going on in February. Normally, fleets report large declines to ATA in February tonnage, in the range of 5.4% to 6.7% over the last three years. So the small increase this year yielded a big seasonally adjusted gain. If March is strong, then I’ll get more excited.

“I’m still concerned about the elevated inventories throughout the supply chain. Last week, the Census Bureau reported that relative to sales, inventories rose again in January, which is troubling,” he said. “We need those inventories reduced before trucking can count on more consistent, better freight volumes.”

The increase is the largest monthly move for the index since January 2013 (11.4%) and the largest year-over-year increase since December 2013 (10.4%).

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.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry at our April 16th webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive pay...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!