Tucker Blog

Friday, October 28, 2011

Freight Activity Holding Strong

The U.S. freight economy is still good, despite the U.S. credit rating downgrade, ongoing European economic troubles, and a leaderless Congress that can’t pass any important bills. Thankfully, the manufacturing sector is holding its own during a lull in our economic recovery. Good news, for sure.

According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), truck tonnage declined 1.3% from June 2011 to July 2011; however, July 2011was still 3.9% stronger than July 2010 (YOY growth).
Data reported by TransCore reinforces ATA’s findings, and shows additional insights. According to TransCore’s North American Freight Index, spot market truckload freight volume jumped 22% in July 2011 when compared to July 2010, while July’s volume dropped 24% from June’s volume. But don’t sweat it. TransCore suggests that this is normal market behavior. According to them, in the last 10 years, June to July load volumes in the same calendar year have declined on average 19%, and the predictable June-July decline has exceeded this year’s 24% in 4 out of the last 10 years.

Traditionally, August marks the start of each year’s second and largest “freight season.” Hopefully for the American and world economies, we continue to move forward and upward. Very few recoveries have been exclusively up, up, up, without pauses or hesitations along the way. We may not be in the most robust recovery, but let’s keep it going.