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August truck tonnage index drops 1.8 percent

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ARLINGTON, Va. —  The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.8 percent in August after increasing 1.9 percent in July. In August, the index equaled 112.9 (2015=100), down from 115 in July.

July’s final index was unrevised from our press release on August 21, 2018.

Compared with August 2017, the SA index rose 4.5 percent, down from July’s 8.6 percent year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage increased 7.6 percent, far outpacing the annual gain of 3.8 percent in 2017.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 120.4 in August, which was 5 percent above the previous month (114.6).

“Truck freight remained solid in August despite the monthly decline,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, the year-over-year increase was the smallest since July 2017. The deceleration in the year-over-year increases has begun because of more difficult year-over-year comparisons. It was a year ago when freight began to surge. We should all expect smaller year-over-year gains going forward than we witnessed over the last year.”

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.

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ATA truck tonnage index down 0.2 percent in February

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Despite the February decline, the index was 5.4 percent higher than February 2018. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was down 0.2 percent in February after increasing 2.5 percent in January. In February, the index equaled 117.4 (2015=100) compared with 117.6 in January.

“After a strong January, I’m pleasantly surprised that the index didn’t fall much last month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I continue to expect tonnage to moderate like other indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing activity and housing starts. Additionally, the level of inventories throughout the supply chain have increased, which is a drag on truck freight.”

January’s reading was revised up slightly compared with our February press release.

Compared with February 2018, the SA index increased 5.4 percent, down from January’s 5.8 percent gain. In 2018, the index increased 6.7 percent over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 106.9 in February, 5.7 percent below January’s level (113.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

 

 

 

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Average price of gallon of diesel drops nine-tenths of one cent

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The March 18 price was 9.8 cents higher than the comparable week one year ago.

WASHINGTON — It wasn’t much of a decline, but at the least could it be the beginning of a trend.

For the week ending March 18, the average on-highway price of a gallon of diesel fell nine-tenths of one cent to $3.07, according to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.

The average price had gone up 11.3 cents a gallon during the past four weeks.

The most significant decline was 2.3 cents a gallon on the West Coast, not including California. California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are the states in the West Coast region.

The next largest decline was 1.9 cents a gallon on the Midwest (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio).

The largest increase was 1.7 cents a gallon in New England (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine).

The March 18 price was 9.8 cents higher than the comparable week one year ago.

 

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ACT Research index shows pricing/productivity indices fall

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The February fleet purchase intentions reading indicated an uptick in equipment demand, with 55.5 percent of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, up from 53.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, in January. (Courtesy: NAVISTAR)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed a downtick in volume, pricing and productivity with the supply-demand balance continuing trend, loosening for the fourth consecutive month.

The Volume Index returned to negative territory, reaching 47.1 in February, while pricing fell to 48.9. Productivity dropped sharply to 43.0, and the supply-demand balance now sits at 42.7.

“While respondents noted weather impacted February results, the Pricing Index fell below neutral for the first time since July 2016 amidst soft demand and accelerating pricing. We see evidence here that the laws of supply and demand have not been repealed,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “The supply-demand balance reading fell from 45.6 in January, and the decline was due to the lower freight Volume Index reading, partly offset by the sequentially lower Capacity Index. Both accelerating Class 8 tractor production and slowing freight growth are loosening the supply-demand balance as we near the 2019 contract rate season.”

The February fleet purchase intentions reading indicated an uptick in equipment demand, with 55.5 percent of respondents planning to buy trucks in the next three months, up from 53.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, in January.

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market.

ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.

For more information on ACT, please visit .

 

 

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