The tonnage of freight hauled by trucks rose 5.7 percent in November compared with the same month a year earlier, the American Trucking Associations reported on Tuesday.
“2016 has been an interesting year for truck tonnage, with monthly gains and decreases as large as I can remember, which suggests seasonality is different this year,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist.
This increase marks the first year-over-year gain in the trade association’s seasonally-adjusted truck tonnage index since August. In October, the year-over-year drop was 0.9 percent
Truck tonnage has bumped up and down monthly this year as carriers have contended with a weak freight market.
Through the first 11 months of this year tonnage has increased 2.8 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, the ATA said.
But truck tonnage in November spiked 8.2 percent from October.
“While I think the November gain overstates the strength in the freight market, I do believe we are seeing some improvement that will continue into 2017. Retail sales are good, the housing market is solid, and the inventory overhang throughout the supply chain is coming down, all of which will help support truck freight volumes in 2017,” Costello said.