Dry Van loadings jumped in December
January 26, 2012
Dry Van loadings finished the year quite strongly, rising in 3 of the last 4 months. Loadings surged 0.8% in December to 21.322 million. Loadings rose 3.6% on a year-over-year basis, in line with the prior two months. The year-over-year gains will subside modestly at the start of 2012 but quickly recover by the summer.
Although the 4-5% dry van growth in 2012 appears weak compared to the spiking of early recovery demand in 2010, it is tracking with historical averages for recoveries, and is well above the 2% average for all years since 1992. This is a good recovery for dry van with further upside potential.
Dry Van freight fell in 2007 and 2008 before crashing in the first quarter of 2009. Loads bottomed out in March of 2009 and grew phenomenally for the next three quarters. Loadings fell 15.5% during 2009. Recent revisions to the data show that Dry Van volume surged even more dramatically than initially thought in 2010, showing a strong gain of 13.2%. Loadings rose again in early 2011 and were relatively flat until ending the year on a strong note. 2011 ended the year with an initial growth estimate of just 0.7%.
We expect loadings to improve from 2011’s weak growth rate but remain well below the surge seen during 2010. Growth will accelerate in 2012, growing 3.4% (modestly better than last month’s forecast). 2013 will see similar growth at 3.2% and we are introducing our 2014 forecast this month with expected growth of 3.5%.
Our month-over-month growth rates for 2012 are relatively unchanged from last month, but the strong finish to 2011 has pulled the year-over-year gains up by about 1% for most of the year.
U.S. Truck Loadings is the estimated number of truck loads originated in the United States plus truck loads that come to U.S. destinations from Mexico and Canada. It is tons divided by the average tons per truck. FTR’s data is seasonally adjusted and measures both short and long-haul OTR segments.
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