Truck Tonnage Increase Is a Good Thing for Everyone
There is some good news for both the trucking industry and the economy—truck tonnage increased by 0.5% in February of this year and is up by 5.5% compared to February of last year. This positive increase indicates that more freight is being hauled, which not only points to an economic advantage for trucking companies, but also suggests that the economy is beginning to rebound.
These numbers are adjusted to account for each season. However, when not seasonally adjusted, truck tonnage was up by about 1.3% compared to the month before, and 9.7% compared to February 2011.
According to Logistics Management, those numbers make sense because it seems that the housing and manufacturing industries are gradually recovering from the recession, which should equal increased cargo.
Bob Costello of the American Trucking Associations made some predictions for the near future that include the following:
• Cargo volume will increase a bit faster this year than the capacity available to hold it
• Carriers will be working to rebuild fleets in anticipation of more cargo
• Higher gas prices may reduce consumers’ spending money
• But higher employment rates may provide a balance so consumers can continue spending
There is no guarantee that these changes will occur, but the numbers point to the possibility. This would be positive overall for the trucking industry, so carriers should look forward to these possible improvements.
Why Do the Numbers Matter?
As you have probably guessed, the latest tonnage increase should matter to both the public and carriers because it suggests improvement in the economy. In fact, according to The Sacramento Bee, trucking can be considered a good gauge of the entire economy in this country. About 2/3 of this nation’s cargo is hauled by trucks, so when freight increases, it is a hint that production and sales are likely also increasing.
One of the many expected changes is a better housing market, which means that homeowners may begin building equity in their property. This ensures that they eventually have more cash to spend on buying other goods that need to be hauled.
Of course, as more houses are purchased, more have to be built, providing jobs for construction workers and more cargo to be hauled by carriers. Therefore, the increased tonnage that has been reported represents a good thing for not just one industry, but the general public. Hopefully the next report is just as good so we can witness a positive trend when it comes to these numbers.