trucking68The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased for the second straight month, up 2.9 percent in January after jumping 2.4 percent in December.

(The 2.4 percent gain in December was revised down from a 2.8 percent increase ATA reported on Jan. 22, 2013.)

Tonnage has gone up at least 2.4 percent every month since November, gaining a total of 9.1 percent over that period. As a result, the SA index equaled 125.2 (2000=100) in January versus 121.7 in December. January’s index was the highest on record. Compared with January 2012, the SA index was up an impressive 6.5percent, the best year-over-year result since December 2011.

According to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello,

The trucking industry started 2013 with a bang, reflected in the best January tonnage report in five years. While I believe that the overall economy will be sluggish in the first quarter, trucking likely benefited in January from an inventory destocking that transpired late last year, thus boosting volumes more than normal early this year as businesses replenish those lean inventories.

ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision. For all of 2012, tonnage was up 2.3 percent, the same as reported prior to the revision. In 2011, the index was up 5.8 percent.

This idex, which is NOT seasonally adjusted, and represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 122.4 in January, which was 10.7% above the previous month (110.5).

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