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How Prepared are you for Tonnage's "Robust Growth?"

by Charlotte Freed | Aug 03, 2018

8.3.18Truck tonnage extends its long-lasting growth spurt rising 7.8 percent in June. The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index shows an increase of nearly 8 percent in the first half of 2018. The growth rate of the first six months of 2017 was only 3.8 percent.

While tonnage dipped 0.4 percent from May, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello shared that “This robust growth fits with what is likely to be a very strong GDP reading for the second quarter” and that he expects “growth in tonnage to moderate, but remain at very high levels in the months ahead.” He added that factory output is “shaping up to be the highest level of production since 2007, and 2019 should be the highest on record.”

The Cass Freight Index Report tracks monthly levels of shipments through the volume of shipments and freight shipment expenditures. The report shares that June demand was “exceeding capacity in most modes of transportation by a significant margin” and that “the current level of volume and pricing growth is signaling that the U.S. economy is growing.” However, it adds “that level of growth may have reached its short-term expansion limit.”

Trucking accounts for over 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of freight transportation and is widely used to gauge the current national economy. While tonnage soars, available CDL drivers continue to decline. From effects of the ELD mandate to retirement, fleets feel the strain of the driver shortage and more find themselves utilizing staffing partners to help mitigate stress and financial burden.

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