H McKee Stewart Jr

Musings on Business, Finance, and Economcs.

Trucking: Who’s Got the Right Numbers?

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After a strong first quarter for 2011, it’s pretty much universally agreed that Q2 was a dud, at best. From the ATA, via Phoenix Business Journal:

“Truck shipments fell for the second consecutive month in May, according to the American Trucking Associations.

The trade organization reported Monday that its advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 2.3 percent in May, building on a revised April tonnage decline of 0.6 percent, slightly better than the ATA’s preliminary estimate of a 0.7 percent loss.”

Further, the ATA’s chief economist, Bob Costello, isn’t exactly flinging his beret into the air over the current state of the business:

“‘Truck tonnage over the last four months shows that the economy definitely hit a soft patch this spring,’ ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a written statement. ‘With our index falling in three of the last four months totaling 3.7 percent, it is clear why there is some renewed anxiety over the economic recovery.'”

But he does toss in some wishful thinking about lower fuel costs and economic growth helping the industry later this year.

On the other side of the coin, UPS freight is going all in, by announcing a 6.9% rate increase effective 08/01/2011. They are either betting on a combination of increased demand and reduced industry capacity, or the freight division simply hasn’t been pulling it’s own weight on the bottom line.



Written by hmstewartjr

2 July 2011 at 5:04 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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