Commodity prices are likely to continue rising in the foreseeable future judging from the ongoing strength being displayed by the trucking industry, which transports a majority of the nation’s manufactured goods.
The American Trucking Association maintains a monthly For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index that measures the amount of material transported on the nation’s highways. This can be useful as an economic indicator because it provides an additional measure of insight into factory production and orders, as well as retail and consumer activity.
According to the ATA, truck tonnage has increased for six out of the last seven months, most recently posting a 0.9 percent gain for April. The index currently stands at 110.2, marking the highest level since September 2008.
The ATA added that its tonnage index has grown 6.5 percent over the past seven months, and that tonnage is up 9.4 percent on a year-over-year basis. In fact, this latest monthly report marks the fifth consecutive year-over-year improvement.
“Tonnage is being boosted by robust manufacturing output and stronger retail sales. For most fleets, freight volumes feel better than reported tonnage because the supply situation, particularly in the truckload sector, is turning quickly,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
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