FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 20 April 2016

Trucking Tonnage Declined in March 2016

Truck shipments are reported down in March - with one index showing year-over-year growth whilst the other showing year-over-year contraction.

ATA Trucking

The American Trucking Associations' (ATA) trucking index fell 4.5 % in March, following a revised 7.2 % improvement in February. The decrease is the largest monthly contraction for the index since September 2012 (-5.3%).

From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:

As expected, tonnage came back to earth in March from the jump in February. These things tend to correct, and March took back more than half of the surprisingly large gain in February.

The freight economy continues to be mixed, with housing and consumer spending generally giving support to tonnage, while new fracking activity and factory output being drags. In addition, freight volumes are softer than the overall economy because of the current inventory overhang throughout the supply chain.

Truck tonnage this month

z truck.jpg

Compared with one year ago, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 2.2 %.

Econintersect tries to validate ATA truck data across data sources. It appears this month that jobs growth says the trucking industry employment levels were marginally down month-over-month. Please note using BLS employment data in real time is risky, as their data is normally backward adjusted significantly.

This data series is not transparent and therefore cannot be relied on. Please note that the ATA does not release an unadjusted data series (although they report the unadjusted value each month - but do not report revisions to this data) where Econintersect can make an independent evaluation. The data is apparently subject to significant backward revision. Not all trucking companies are members of the ATA, and therefore it is unknown if this data is a representative sampling of the trucking industry.

source: ATA

FTR's Trucking Conditions February Reflect Slower Growth in Truck Loadings for 2016

FTR's Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) continued to soften in February due to a weakening of the freight environment early in 2016. The current reading at 8.27 reflects FTR's forecast for a slowdown in truck loadings from an average of 4% thus far in the recovery to 2% for full year 2016. There are still positive indicators for trucking including high capacity utilization and positive rate assumptions. The TCI is expected to begin a steady rise heading into 2017 due to expected regulatory capacity constraints and will continue to be positive into 2018 save for the risk of recession or the possibility of temporary spikes in fuel prices reacting to weak U.S. production.



Freight shipments slowed to only a 1.4 percent rise in March, following an 8.3 percent jump in February. Expenditures for freight declined 1.0 percent in March—reversing a portion of the 6.3 percent increase in February. Manufacturing and building construction have been on an upward trend and have just started showing up in the supply chain.

The March freight shipments index rose 1.4 percent, but still remains 1.5 percent below the same month a year ago. March shipments have grown at a slower pace than each February for the last couple of years, so this is not unexpected. The March 2016 index is still 6.2 percent lower than the December 2015 index, indicating that the plummet in January is going to take quite some time to dig out of. On an average basis, the first quarter of 2016 was 3.0 percent lower than the same period in 2015. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) PMI index continued to move up in March, posting a 4.6 percent rise. Notably, the index has just passed back over the 50 index level, indicating growth, for the first time since August 2015. This is the third consecutive month of growth and is a sign that manufacturing may finally be recovering from its slump. High inventories are still a big concern and will moderate future growth. Both the New Orders and the Order Backlog sub-indexes increased, 13.2 and 5.2 percent respectively. This should translate to higher production in April. One cautionary indicator though: the manufacturing sector cut 29,000 jobs in March. Railroad shipments picked up remarkably in March with a 22.2 percent rise in carloads and a 19.2 percent rise in intermodal shipments. These follow double digit drops in February. March figures for truck tonnage are not yet available. Expect sluggish but sustained growth in freight.



Although the data for trucking does not correlate, we can assume trucking growth is sluggish and is beginning to trend downward.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Permanent link to most recent post on this topic

Click here for Historical Releases Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Economic Releases


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Comments on Feyerabend’s ‘Against Method’, Part III
Taking a Wrench to Healthcare
News Blog
Why Do So Many Price Tags End In .99
September 2016 New Home Sales Improve.
Higher GDP Growth In The Long Run Requires Higher Productivity Growth
Quantum Encryption Is Secure Because Information Encoded In A Quantum Particle Is Destroyed As Soon As It Is Measured
The Stock Market Is Up, But Mutual Fund Investors Are Fleeing
Infographic Of The Day: Google's Hidden Games
Early Headlines: Asia Srocks Mostly Lower, Energy HY Bonds Surge, Google Fiber Cutback, Shadow Banks Dominate Mortgages, NATO Crowds Russia, Coffee Surges And More
Top 10 American Misconceptions about China (Version 3)
Documentary Of The Week: Job Buffers Are More Efficient Than Unemployment Buffers
Typing Is The New Talking
Outsourcing Viewed As The Top Threat To U.S. Jobs
SOS, Extra Savings Needed For An Adequate Pension
Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize - And What Really Defines Literature
Investing Blog
This Or That? Technical Report 25 October 2016
Opinion Blog
What Triggers Collapse?
The Beer Goggles Stock Market
Precious Metals Blog
Inflation Surging As Platinum Signals Stock Market Decline
Live Markets
26Oct2016 Market Update: Wall Street At Unchanged Line, Gold Slipping Rapidly, Crude Prices Back To Where They Were Early This Morning
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

Crowdfunding ....



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved