Dry van loadings up 0.4%
March 30, 2012
Volume estimates were pulled lower starting in October. This has moved the very modest year-over-year gains into slightly negative territory. Dry Van loadings rose 0.4% in February to 21.100 million loadings. This followed a downwardly revised gain of just 0.1% in January. Loadings were down 0.5% on a year-over-year basis – the 5th straight negative comparison. The year-over-year comparison will remain weak for another month before quickly moving back towards a 4% growth rate.
Dry Van freight fell in 2007 and then starting dropping hard in late 2008. It bottomed out in Q3 of 2009 and then rose for six consecutive quarters before easing in the middle of 2011. Loadings have been essentially flat since moving lower in April 2011. Loadings fell 10.9% during 2009. Volume rebounded strongly in 2010, showing a gain of 5.0%. Loadings rose a more modest 2.3% in 2011.
We expect loadings to improve modestly from 2011’s growth rate but remain below the strength seen during 2010. Growth will continue in 2012, growing 2.5% with further acceleration in 2013 and 2014 of 4.1% and 4.4%, respectively. The year-over-year growth rates were pulled lower until the last quarter of 2012.
At about 50% of the total market, dry van loadings are generally tracking with the overall growth in trucking. Strength in auto production and a modest recovery in housing will benefit sub-segments for auto parts and appliances.
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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