Compared with November 2010, seasonally adjusted tonnage was up 6%, the largest year-over-year gain since a 6.5% increase in June 2011. In October, the tonnage index was 5.7% above a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 5.4%.
The latest gain put the SA index at 116.6 (2000=100) in November, up from the October level of 116.3.
The not-seasonally-adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 115.3 in November, which was 2.6% below the previous month.
"As I said last month, tonnage levels continue to point to an economy that is growing, not sliding into a recession," ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. "Over the last three months, tonnage is up 2.3% and stands at the highest level since January of this year."
"Two primary factors have helped truck tonnage in recent months. First, manufacturing output, which generates a significant amount of truck freight, has generally been increasing. Second, retail inventories are very lean, which is helping freight as well, since retailers don't have much excess stock and need to replenish when sales go up." he said.