U.S. Trucking Volumes are Down: Port Levels are Climbing

For the first time since August 2005, the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) Truck Tonnage Index fell, putting the seasonally adjusted index at its lowest point since September 2005.

The not seasonally adjusted index fell by 5.4% from January, making it the largest month to month decrease in a year (the January to February 2005 decrease was 5.4%).

As it often does, the ATA points out that trucking is a barometer of the U.S. economy, generally, as it carries nearly 70% of all tonnage for all modes of domestic freight, and includes manufactured and retail goods.

The National Retail Federation and Global Insight’s Port Tracker for April indicates that volumes are beginning to grow after slow January and February figures and are now projected to hit 1.45 TEU (20-foot container or equivalent) by August, which will be up 9.5% from August 2005.

As with trucking, according to the report, ports surveyed handled 1.09 TEU in February, the lowest volume since the peak shipping season, which was down 11.7% from January 2006 and was 1.6% less than February 2005.

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