The American Truck Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index spiked 8.2% in November, recovering from a slight 0.3% dip in the month before.
The Truck Tonnage Index equaled 142.4, up from 131.6 in October and only slightly down from the all-time high reading of 144 from February of this year.
Compared to last November, the index is up 5.7% - the first year-over-year gain since August. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2015, tonnage was up 2.8%.
“2016 has been an interesting year for truck tonnage, with monthly gains and decreases as large as I can remember, which suggests seasonality is different this year,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “November’s substantial increase continued with the seesaw pattern that has persisted for much of the year.”
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 135.9 in November, which was 1.7% below the previous month.
“While I think the November gain overstates the strength in the freight market, I do believe we are seeing some improvement that will continue into 2017,” said Costello. “Retail sales are good, the housing market is solid, and the inventory overhang throughout the supply chain is coming down, all of which will help support truck freight volumes in 2017.”