Truck Tonnage Index up 1.9% in November

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The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 1.9 percent in November, marking its third consecutive monthly increase. The latest boost follows gains of 0.3 percent in September and October, respectively.

November’s rise denotes the first time the index increased in three successive months since the February through April 2004 period. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the index rose to 116.4 from 114.2 in October. The November index stood 2.2 percent higher than a year earlier, representing the largest year-over-year gain since March 2005. Year-to-date, the index increased 2.0 percent compared with the same period in 2004. On a not-seasonally adjusted basis, the index fell 2.2 percent from October to 115.0.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says several carriers noted the 2005 fall freight season started later than in most years. That, coupled with strong holiday retail sales and manufacturing production, helped generate solid gains in November. “Many carriers in recent weeks said demand has been robust and capacity has been particularly tight,” Costello says. “November’s seasonally adjusted surge confirms recent strength in the industry.”

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators. The baseline year for the index is 2000.