Thursday, February 25, 2010

US Freight Truck Figures Released

ATA Economist Conservatively Confident
Shipping News Feature

US – As mentioned earlier today the American Trucking Associations (ATA) for hire truck tonnage index figures have just been released. The growth in January this year against 2009’s seasonally adjusted figure is very encouraging with a 5.7% jump. This means the Index has risen in the last two recorded periods. As with all such shipping market indicators it is important to look at how the surge in freight traffic is calculated.

The ATA offers two indices, the seasonally adjusted and the unadjusted. The ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. The organisation includes all freight types hauled by its members, who represent a cross section of trucking firms of every size who respond to a regular survey. If a company folds, its tonnages are zeroed on out the assumption that the remaining carriers pick up that freight eliminating false increases in the figures.

Speaking on production of the latest numbers ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello commented that these tonnage increases, plus the tenet of conversations within the freight carrier community, led him to believe that the industry was proceeding in the right direction. “Although there are still risks that could throw the rebound off track, the likelihood of that happening continues to diminish” he said.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equated to 99.5 in January, unsurprisingly down 3.3 percent from the previous month but the advanced seasonally adjusted figure rose to 110.4, a jump of 3.1%, its highest level since September 2008.

The ATA point out that trucking accounts for almost 70% of tonnage shipped domestically in the US with around 83% of revenue earned. In 2008 trucks carried over 10 billion tonnes of freight across the States.