Healthy Economic Indicator: Freight Volume Posts Big Increase

December 19, 2017 by Clarissa Hawes

One important trucking industry measure points to how well the U.S. economy is performing.

The amount of freight hauled by trucks in November rose 7.6 percent year-over-year.

Freight numbers have been showing steady improvement over the last year, according to the American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index.

“The freight market is really strong,” said Bob Costello, the ATA’s chief economist. “The solid truck tonnage figures over the last four months suggest to me that this holiday spending season might be better than many expected, and the best in several years.”

The index has jumped 3.5 percent through the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period in 2016.

“The strength in tonnage also shows that other parts of the economy are doing well, too, including business investment, factory output and even construction,” Costello said.

Truck tonnage increased 2.3 percent from October to November.

ATA calculates its tonnage index based on surveys from its membership.

Trucking hauls nearly 71 percent of tonnage carried by all types of domestic freight transportation. The industry accounts for about $676.2 billion in freight business, or 79.8 percent of total revenue, according to the ATA.

Read Next: November Freight Rates Hit Three-Year High

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