The American Trucking Associations (ATA) said its for-hire truck tonnage index jumped 8.2% in November after dropping 0.3% in October.
Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2015, tonnage is up 2.8%, the trade group noted.
Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, noted in a statement that 2016 “has been an interesting year” with monthly gains and decreases in truck tonnage “as large as I can remember,” which he said suggests freight seasonality is “different” this year.
“November’s substantial increase continued with the seesaw pattern that has persisted for much of the year,” Costello pointed out. “While I think the November gain overstates the strength in the freight market, I do believe we are seeing some improvement that will continue into 2017.”
Along those lines, he said retail sales are good, the housing market is solid, and the inventory overhang throughout the supply chain is coming down.
“All of which will help support truck freight volumes in 2017,” Costello added.