The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 2.9% in January, offsetting some of the decline that was noted in December.
In January, the index equaled 138.8 – up from 134.9 in December, when the Truck Tonnage Index fell by 4.3%. Compared with Jan. 2016, the seasonally adjusted Index increased 2.6% and for all of 2016, tonnage was up 2.5%.
“The freight economy is starting to show some signs of life and January’s truck tonnage numbers are a good step forward,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “Hopefully the ups and downs in truck tonnage during 2016 will not be as pronounced in 2017.”
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 131.6 in January, which was 1.8% below the 133.9 posted the previous month.
“Looking ahead, the most recent positive sign for truck tonnage is the large drop in the inventory-to-sales ratio during December,” said Costello. “The decrease put inventories throughout the supply chain, relative to sales, to the lowest level in two years. There is no doubt that the inventory glut was a drag on truck freight volumes last year.”