ERJ staff report (TB)
Arlington Virginia -- Trucking activity in the US in October, impacted by the business disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, fell both from October 2011 and from September 2012, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
"Clearly Hurricane Sandy negatively impacted October's tonnage reading," ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. "However, it is impossible for us to determine the exact impact."
Mr. Costello noted that a large drop in fuel shipments into the storm-affected areas along the Eastern Seaboard likely put downward pressure on October's tonnage level since fuel is heavy freight, in addition to reductions in other freight.
"I'd expect some positive impact on truck tonnage as the rebuilding starts in the areas impacted by Sandy, although that boost may only be modest in November and December," he said. "Excluding the Hurricane impacts, I still think truck tonnage is decelerating along with factory output and consumer spending on tangible-goods."
The ATA bases its monthly tonnage reports on its seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, which measures activity against a base of 100 in 2000.
The index fell 2.1 percent from October 2011-the first year-over-year drop since November 2009-and was down 3.8 percent from September 2012. The drop in October was the third straight monthly decline, Arlington-based ATA said.
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.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)
Website of ATA